In this hide-and-seek and dancing game, you will learn about Bee Dances!Scout bees find nectar sources and return to the hive to let hive workers know. The dance they choose to do communicates how far and in what direction a nectar source is. Created by Amy Arato, RHA Educator

Level: Pre-K to Elementary

Duration: One hour (more if you choose to paint rocks)

Setting: Backyard


  • 6 objects in groups of 6 different colors (pompoms or small painted rocks are ideal but you can use what you have on hand: small balls, lego pieces, scraps of colored paper weighted with paper clips – be creative!)
  • Bee Dance Descriptions
  • Circle Dance Poster
  • Waggle Dance Poster
  • A treat for each player such as honey, honey grahams, honey sticks, honey candy, etc.

The Activity:

  •  Gather your materials. You will need 6 sets of small objects in 6 different colors. Pompoms or small painted rocks are ideal, but if you don’t have them, be creative! You can use small balls, lego pieces or even scraps of colored paper weighted with paper clips.
  • Gather together at a central location – the “Hive.” Using the Bee Dance Descriptions and Bee Dance Posters, review the types of dances that bees do.

    • Have someone demonstrate the Circle Dance. Allow all players to join in!

    • Next have someone demonstrate the Waggle Dance. Go ahead – let everyone give it a try!

  • Make sure all players take a good look at the objects, so they know what to look for. Each set of objects represents a nectar source.
  • Designate someone to be the first leader (the leader will hide the sets of objects, hide the treats and demonstrate the dances).
  • Next, designate someone to be the Scout Bee (the first searcher). The rest of the group will be the Hive Workers.
  • Now you’re ready to play! Have the leader hide each set of colored objects in a different place in the yard away from the “hive”. Try to hide the objects in an arc away from the hive.

  • Now the Scout Bee goes on the search for a nectar source.  Meanwhile, the Hive Workers stand in a close circle with their eyes closed and BUZZ.
  • Once the Scout Bee finds a nectar source, he or she brings one object from the set back to the hive but keeps it hidden in his or her hand or pocket, so the others can’t see it.
  • Now the Scout Bee does the Waggle Dance wiggling his or her tummy in the direction of the nectar source. All bees fly off in the direction indicated. Once they find the nectar source, the Scout Bee reveals what is in his or her hand or pocket to see if it matches. It should!
  • One by one, let each player have a turn to be the Scout Bee. Continue as long as you like or until all nectar sources are found.
  • The leader goes last and performs a Waggle Dance in the direction of the hidden treats. All bees end with a honey-themed treat and a happy dance!

Wrap Up:

  • How do humans usually communicate?
  • Why do you think bees use dances?

How did you like this activity? Please share any questions, comments, or photos that you and your child have on the Raritan Headwaters Learning Community Facebook Page!

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