For humans, if your home has a recognizable scent, that may or may not be a good thing. But for bees, it is a necessary part of life, and of finding its way home. Bees find their way to their own hive because of a distinct scent that they can recognize. If you want to see a real beehive up close, and safely, you can even come to the Museum and see our beehive exhibit, made possible by the Junior League of Miami.
Because bees are are so beguiling in many ways, they are the subject of one of the Museum’s Early Childhood Hands-On Science (ECHOS) curriculum units. After receiving training on the materials from Museum education staff, pre-school teachers throughout Miami-Dade County and Head Start schools, lead the children in exploring their world, as well as the bees’ world. The children learned first-hand that bees know which hive is their own only by the scent, by becoming bees themselves. Each was given a cup with a scent, and they had to explore their classroom to find the hive that matched their scent. But they did not want to stop exploring even after they found their hive. One wanted to draw his own beehive based on the ECHOS Busy, Buzzing Bees book, one wanted to see how the beehive model in the classroom compared to photos of real hives, and a couple wanted to match up the scents of all the “hives” in the room. These children in the photos below are true explorers.