How to make paper bee hives

Updated April 17, 2017

Making a beehive out of paper can give the effect of a real beehive, minus the stinging bees. A paper beehive can add a decorative look to a classroom during a unit on bees. Creating a replica of a beehive can give students a better understanding of where bees live if they have never seen a hive before. Using white paper, a glue mixture, newspaper and a balloon, students can make a hive using a paper-mache technique.

Cut newspaper into strips 2 inches wide. Shred by hand or use scissors to cut the paper.

Blow up a balloon. Determine the size of the beehive you want to create and blow the balloon up according to that size.

Cover the balloon with petroleum jelly. This will create a layer between the balloon and the glue, allowing the balloon to be removed later. Place the balloon in a small bowl to hold it in place while you cover the balloon. Be sure the bowl doesn't cover too much of the balloon.

Mix 1/4 cup of glue with 1/2 cup of water to make the glue mixture. Dump the glue in a bowl large enough to hold the strips of paper. Place newspapers on the work area to avoid dripping the glue.

Soak five or six strips of newspaper in the glue mixture at a time for one minute. Remove the strips one at a time, removing excess glue and place each strip onto the balloon. Repeat this process with every strip of newspaper until the balloon is covered. Allow it to dry overnight.

Wrap the balloon with nylon string. Tape one end of the string to the top of the balloon and wrap the string securely around the balloon three of four times. Tape the other end of the string to the balloon toward the bottom. This will create the bumpy appearance of a beehive.

Cover the balloon with a second coat of newspaper and glue just as you did before. Allow the second coat to dry overnight.

Pop the balloon from inside the hive once the second coat has dried. Remove the balloon.

Cut strips of white paper that are 2 inches wide. Tape the strips of paper along the beehive beginning in the centre and working up, overlapping each previous strip. Tape down the strips of paper from the middle, placing the strip slightly beneath the previous strip until the entire hive is covered in white paper.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Balloon
  • Petroleum jelly
  • White glue
  • Nylon string
  • Tape
  • White paper
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About the Author

Kelly Masi, born and raised in upstate N.Y., has been writing professionally since 2009. She has been writing for various instructional websites since November 2010 and has also written for the website CafeMom. She received her associate degree in early childhood education from Fulton Montgomery Community College.