Several books inspire B’s play, including books written and illustrated by Simona Čechová (I have mentioned her books in other posts – here and here). One of her books, Včelár Jožko (free translation Joseph the Beekeeper), where we base most of our knowledge about beekeeping, inspired him to become a beekeeper. Because of that we did many related activities in last few weeks.
Process of creating a beehive had several stages. The working process was complex and many various skills were practiced.
Cutting and painting the beehive
Firstly, I adapted a box slightly so it is easy to open and I cut the beehive entrance. Secondly, B. painted it with gouache, tempera and acrylic paint. He had available all the colors (red, yellow, blue and white) except of black. Black paint “swallows” all the other paints which results in black color no matter what colors he uses. He is not able to use it in moderation yet and as I wanted him to practice mixing colors, black was not available for him then.
I cut bee bodies from construction paper. And while I cut bee wings from spiderweb transparent paper, B. colored the bees. He invented all the (im)possible colors of bees and I let him to do so.
Making cardboard frames was entirely my job, B. worked on foundations for frames. He painted a bubble wrap yellow and printed it on white construction paper. This is an activity my sister used in her art group and I elevated it a little to a more complex one. I have no idea, whether she got inspired somewhere or came up with this idea by herself.
As I realized bees and their life are a very popular theme for children books. We have so many in which is information on them.
- Insect. Discover the world of insects in close-up – their behavior, anatomy, and important role in Earth’s ecology.
- Bug hotel – written by Libby Walden, illustrated by Clover Robin.
- Bugs and Butterflies – written by Emily Bone, illustrated by Nat Hues.
- Woodland Book – written by Emily Bone and Alice James, illustrated by Natalie Hughes.
- Why do we need bees?
- Forest Club : A Year of Activities, Crafts, and Exploring Nature – written by Kris Hirschmann, illustrated by Marta Antelo.
- Včelár Jožko (Beekeper Jožko) – written and illustrated by Simona Čechová.
- Včielka (Little Bee) – written and illustrated by Elena Rabčanová.
Bee hat with veil
Beekeeper B. liked playing with his beehive that I promised him to make a bee hat too. “So the bees don’t sting me.” I used a hat from my childhood, cord, cord stop, old blouse and net fabric. I made a sketch, measured, cut and sewed. Nothing complicated. And it works.