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  • The ‘Buzz of bees’ is a Connected journal devoted entirely to bees. Each article has diagrams and illustrations that offer opportunities for students to develop the science capability ‘Interpret representations’.

    Check your school resource area for the 2012 level 2 publication or order it from the Ministry of Education. Teacher support material (TSM) is available in PDF format for selected articles. The material lists key science and technology concepts featured in the articles.

    Rights: © Crown 2012

    2012 Connected level 2: The buzz of bees

    The cover of the 2012 level 2 Connected journal ‘The buzz of bees’ published by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

    Close-up image of bee © irin-k/Shutterstock and background bee image © Smileus/Shutterstock.

    Honey bee adaptations

    ‘Thank goodness for bees’ by Bronwen Wall explores the concept of classification by comparing bees to similar insects. It also explores the concept of adaptation – with explanations of how bees collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants, how they turn the nectar into honey and how they construct honeycomb to store honey. The teacher support material includes six activities that feature aspects of classification and observation.

    Beehive technology

    ‘Home sweet comb’ by Trish Puharich features beehives made by people living in different cultures and at different times. The teacher support material has three activities that use beehives and modern technological examples to explore the nature of technology and technological outcomes.

    Mānuka honey’s healing properties

    ‘Healing honey’ by Philippa Werry details the medicinal value of mānuka honey and the experimentation and modelling that helped to produce special honey bandages to treat wounds.

    Rights: The University of Waikato Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato

    ApiNate® dressing on arm

    Comvita ApiNate® wound dressing being applied to an arm.

    Bees as pollinators

    ‘Bees are VIPs (very important pollinators)’ by Marie Langley and Mike Tapp explains the symbiotic relationships between bees and flowering plants. The article explores the concepts of evolution, symbiosis and pollination. The teacher support material has three activities that take a closer look at flowering plants and a fourth that examines other methods of pollination.

    Threats to honey bees

    ‘Staying alive’ by Marie Langley and Mike Tapp identifies some of the threats that honey bees face. Threats include the varroa mite and our use of pesticides. Teacher support material has an activity that looks at the positive symbiotic relationship between honey bees and flowers and the harmful parasitic relationship between varroa mites and honey bees. Additional activities explore scientific vocabulary regarding ‘chemicals’ and taking action to protect honey bees from chemical sprays.

    Rights: University of Waikato

    Bees and varroa

    Watch varroa mites (white juveniles and brown adults) on honey bees and learn how they spread viruses that kill bee colonies. Dr Mark Goodwin shows hives being treated to control the mite.

    Related content

    The Hub has numerous resources to support the articles in ‘The buzz of bees’.

    Scroll through the bees topic for articles, activities and multimedia.

    Honey bee heroes is a comprehensive article about honey bee adaptations and behaviours and some of the threats they face.

    Honey to heal – introduction curates our resources on the research that led to mānuka honey’s use in high-value, natural woundcare products.

    Pollination – introduction curates our pollination resources. It includes a unit plan for lower primary students. It uses our pollination resources and the NZC levels 1 and 2 resources in Seeds, stems and spores – introduction.

    The varroa mite is a threat to our honey bees. Find out what it is and what scientists are doing to control it, including using RNAi.

    The article Chemicals everywhere and the activity Finding out about chemicals are introductory resources to help students become aware that all substances are made of chemicals.

    Check out our entire range of Connected articles here. We’ve curated them by topic and concepts.

    Useful link

    The Connected journals can be ordered from the Down the Back of the Chair website. Access to these resources is restricted to Ministry-approved education providers. To find out if you are eligible for a login or if you have forgotten your login details, contact their customer services team on 0800 660 662 or email


    The Connected series is published annually by the Ministry of Education, New Zealand.

      Published 23 July 2019 Referencing Hub articles
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