Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Logo
Lesson Overview
  • Minutes
  • 4, 5, 9
  • 3rd - 5th Grade
  • State Standards:
    NGSS: 4-LS1-1 CCSS: 3.RL.1, 3.RI.1, 3.SL.1, 4.RI.1, 4.SL.1, 5.RI.1, 5.SL.1

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Materials List

Beeswax pellets
Coconut oil
Shea butter
Lip balm tubes
Stir stick
Lip balm tube rack
Anatomy of a Worker Bee worksheet
Honey Bee Powerpoint
Beeswax: A By-product of Honey Production Powerpoint 

The Buzz about Beeswax

Categories: Primary Literacy , Kits , Nutrition , Science

Students explore the use of beeswax, a by-product in honey production, by developing a useful beeswax product.

Activity 1: Bee Anatomy
1. Ask students the following questions:
a. Why are honey bees important to humans?
b. Why kind of products come from bees? (ex. honey, lip balm, etc.)
2. Tell students that many products are made from the honey and beeswax that bees create. Today, we are going to look at the parts of a honey bee and how products like lip balm are created. Honey bees have three main body regions—the head, thorax, and abdomen. Use the Honey Bee PowerPoint to discuss the main parts of a worker bee.
3. Ask the students to label the parts of a worker bee on the Anatomy of a Worker Bee worksheet.
4. Review the Beeswax: A By-product of Honey Production Powerpoint with students to discuss how beeswax is produced and processed.
5. Ask the students to brainstorm a list of products that can be made from beeswax (i.e. lip balm, clay, candles, lotion, etc.).
Activity 2: Create Beeswax Lip Balm!
1. Decide to divide the class into groups or prepare the balm as a class.
2. Add equal parts of beeswax pellets, coconut oil and shea butter to a microwave safe bowl. (1 oz of each ingredient will fill approximately 10 lip balm tubes)
3. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir contents together using the wooden stir stick.
4. Repeat step 3 until the beeswax pellets have completely melted. It takes approximately 3-6 minutes for the contents to melt depending on quantity and microwave power.
5. (Optional) Add an essential oil to flavor your lip balm. Begin with 30 drops of flavor for 1 oz. of each ingredient and rub the oil on your lips or skin to test the scent. Add more as needed. Different oils will require different amounts of drops. Recommended oils include mint (use less), grapefruit or lavender. You may choose to divide the batch into smaller portions and create several flavors.
6. Add lip balm containers to the open spots in the holding tray by pushing the top of the lip balm container in the open hole. The bottom portion of the lip balm tube will be the legs of the stand. Spread out the tubes you will be filling throughout the tray to allow the tray to stand on its own.
7. Using a pipette, fill the tubes with the lip balm mixture.
8. Set aside and let the tubes cool until the lip balm becomes firm.
9. Remove the lip balm containers one at a time from the tray and cap the tubes.
Activity 3: Label your Balm!
1. Using the template provided with this lesson or a 2”x1” label have students create a label to wrap around their lip balm. Secure using tape or glue. You can also purchase the self adhesive type from the store.
2. Discuss with students and show examples of information commonly listed on a label. Be sure to include: a name of the lip balm, flavor and ingredients.