Culture, Community, and the Classroom: Beekeeping

Some of the most creative artist residencies come out of unexpected classroom collaborations. Not only does this set of lesson plans create connections between beekeeping and the art room, it also demonstrates how art can be a pathway to social emotional learning. Art teacher Sarah Edwards and guidance counselor Nina Muto worked with the Southern Tier Beekeepers Association to help students discover how they can work towards unity and community while still embodying their individuality.
Popsicle sticks ; Paint; Paint brushes; Transparencies; Sharpies; Elmer's Glue; Whiteboard and dry erase markers; Paper and pencil for each student

A Culture, Community, and the Classroom Lesson by teacher Sarah Edwards, guidance counselor Nina Muto and the Southern Tier Beekeepers Association.

This CCC project was supported in part by the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Individual Donors to Local Learning.

TITLE: Bee Yourself (Beneficial Bees)

AUTHORS AND TEACHERS: Sarah Edwards and Nina Muto

Sarah Edwards is an elementary art teacher at Windsor C.R. Weeks Elementary School in Windsor, NY. Nina Muto is a guidance counselor at Windsor C.R. Weeks Elementary School in Windsor, NY.

ARTIST COLLABORATOR: Southern Tier Beekeepers Association

LENGTH: 6 Classes (2 visiting artists sessions, 1 session with counselor, and 3 art project lessons)

Find the complete lesson plans in the sidebar under “Downloads.”


NYS  Visual Arts Standards


  • VA:Cr2.2.5 Demonstrate quality craftsmanship through care for and use of materials, tools, and equipment.


  •  VA: Pr5.1 Anchor Standard 5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.


  •  VA: Cn 10.1 Through artmaking, people make meaning by investigating and developing awareness of perceptions, knowledge, and experiences.

ASCA Mindset and Behavior Standards 

  • B-SMS 5.    Perseverance to achieve long- and short-term goals
  • B-SS 5. Ethical decision-making and social responsibility
  • B-SS 10. Cultural awareness, sensitivity and responsiveness