After that first painful sting, most children develop a healthy fear of buzzing, stinging insects like bees and wasps. Because of this, most children are afraid to go near a real bee hive. But making a bee hive out of a shoebox or construction paper is an easy activity that any child would enjoy doing. It can be educational and can help children understand, instead of fear, these important insects.
Measure the dimensions of the inside of the shoebox with the ruler. You want to get the height and length of one short side, the height and length of one long side and the height and length of the bottom of the box. Record these measurements on a scratch sheet of construction paper.
Take out two sheets of yellow construction paper and two sheets of black construction paper and draw five rectangles according to the dimensions you recorded previously. Two of the rectangles will cover the short sides of the shoebox interior, two will cover the long sides and one will cover the bottom. You may choose to make both of the short sides yellow or both black, or you may choose to have one short and one long side in each colour. The choice is yours, so long as two sides are cut from each colour. The rectangle covering the bottom of the shoebox may be either yellow or black.
Glue the rectangles to the inside of the box according to your desired pattern. Allow the box to dry for two hours.
Take out one more sheet of construction paper in the opposite colour of the paper you used for the rectangle covering the bottom of the box. If you used black for the bottom rectangle, take out one yellow sheet and vice versa. While the box is drying, cut out several 1-inch wide hexagons (six-sided shapes) from the sheet of construction paper you took out. Draw and cut out one hexagon to use as a template, then trace that hexagon repeatedly and cut out the rest of the shapes. These hexagons will form the honeycomb structure.
Glue the hexagons onto the bottom interior of the shoebox in alternating rows. To do this, turn the box horizontal so the short sides are on your left and right. Glue as many hexagons as will fit to the bottom rectangle on the side that is farthest away from you. Glue one hexagon, then glue the top left side of the next hexagon to the bottom right side of the previous hexagon. Look at the image provided as a guide. Feel free to leave some spaces uncovered to add contrast to the pattern. Allow these shapes to dry.
If desired, cut out some 1-inch yellow ovals and draw some vertical lines on them with the black marker to make bees. Glue these bees to various spots inside of the box.
Draw a large hill or a gumdrop shape about 10 inches tall on a sheet of light brown construction paper. Cut out this shape.
Take out four more sheets of brown construction paper and trace your hill/gumdrop shape onto each sheet. Lay the sheets next to each other and on each hill measure off 2 inches, 4 inches, 6 inches and 8 inches, respectively. Cut out these hills so you have one 8-inch tall hill, one 6-inch tall, one 4-inch and one 2-inch.
Trace the outline of each of the five hills with the fine-tip, black marker. Stack the hills one on top of the other, with the smallest hill on top and the largest on the bottom. Staple the hills together at the top to create a beehive notebook.
For your shoebox beehive diorama, you may place notes along the sides that give facts about bees. See Resources for bee-related information. You may also want to include useful facts in your beehive notebook to give an educational spin to this project.