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Pause for Thought: Bees and Honey

World Bee Day is on 20 May

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To celebrate the work of honey bees.

Preparation and materials


  1. Ask the children to listen to the following riddle and try to guess the theme of today’s assembly (the answer is ‘honey’).

    It can be solid, it can be runny;
    It’s pure and sweet and tastes very yummy.
    When sore throats and colds make your throat ache,
    With hot water and lemon some of this you should take.

  2. Show Slide 1.

    Ask the following questions.

    - How many of you have tasted honey?
    - How many of you eat honey regularly?

    Ask the children what they might eat honey with, and what honey might be used for.

    Listen to a range of responses.

    Show Slide 2.

    Honey is often spread on bread.

    Show Slide 3.

    Sometimes, people mix honey with lemon juice as a remedy for a bad cold.

  3. Ask the children whether they can think of a famous bear who enjoyed honey.

    Show Slide 4.

  4. Explain that there are many types of honey, including runny, solid, honeycomb and so on.

    Show Slide 5.

    Tell the children that there are several thousand honey varieties in the world. Honey can be yellow, black or even white. It can be made from a combination of flowers or from a single type of flower.

  5. Ask the children whether they know how honey is made.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  6. Explain that honey is made by bees.

    Tell the children that there are two types of bee: the honey bee and the bumblebee.

    Show Slides 6 (a honey bee) and 7 (a bumblebee).

  7. Show Slide 8.

    Ask the children to look for differences between the two types of bee.

    Identify differences in their size, colour, shape and so on.

  8. You may wish to consider further differences between honey bees and bumblebees. A detailed list is available at: 

    Summarize by saying that bumblebees make small amounts of honey that they eat themselves, whereas honey bees make lots of honey, which bee-keepers then harvest.

  9. Show the YouTube video ‘How do bees make honey?’

    Ask the children to share something that they learned from the video.

  10. Point out that a beehive is a very organized society and the bees all cooperate to make it work.

    Ask the children what shape they noticed in the beehive. (Answer: the hexagon.)

    Explain that hexagons are very strong and create lots of space for the bees to store the food.

  11. Tell the children that to make one kilogram of honey, honey bees need to fly over 110,000 miles (that’s more than four times round the world!) and travel to over four million flowers.

    This tells us that bees are very hardworking, and that they have to work together to make honey.

  12. Optional: ask the children how much a jar of honey costs.

    An example of a range of prices is available at:

    Ask the following questions.

    - Why do you think that honey is so expensive?
    - Why do you think there is such a difference in price between the different types?

    Discuss that honey can be made from a variety of flowers or from just one type of flower. Which type of honey is the most expensive?

Time for reflection

Explain that 20 May is World Bee Day, when we celebrate these tiny creatures who work so hard to produce such a beneficial food.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Ask the children what they have seen today that has made them thankful for honey bees.

Remind the children that to make one kilogram of honey, honey bees need to fly over 110,000 miles and travel to over four million flowers. Ask the children what we could learn from the honey bee. (Suggestions may include that the bees are very hardworking, and that they work together as a team to make honey.)

Encourage the children to think about how they can work as a team today.

Dear God,
Thank you for making these tiny bees.
They are so clever, hardworking and good at helping one another.
Please help us to follow their example.
Thank you for the lovely taste of honey.

Extension activities

  1. Invite the children to use the shape of a hexagon to make patterns. Maths work could include angles, folding, tessellation and so on.

  2. Ask the children to find out more about the differences between bumblebees and honey bees.

  3. Invite the children to record what they learned about bees from the YouTube video by drawing and labelling simple diagrams.
Publication date: May 2021   (Vol.23 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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