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Oklahoma Agriculture in the Classroom



September is National Honey Month

Bees, Butterflies and Ladybugs
A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly.
- Anonymous rhyme from England

The honeybee is our state insect. Honey is delicious, but did you know honeybees are more valuable for pollinating crops than they are for their honey?

Resources on Pollinators (National Academy of Sciences)
Writing Prompts
  • Pretend you are a lost honeybee and describe your adventures trying to find your way back to the hive.
  • Honeybees communicate with other honeybees through their movements. Write a song to accompany the honeybee dance that explains where to find the honey.
The Bee
Like trains of cars on tracks of plush
I hear the level bee:
A jar across the flower goes,
Their velvet masonry
Withstands until the sweet assault
Their chivalry consumes,
While he, victorious, tilts away
To vanquish other blooms.
His feet are shod with gauze,
His helmet is of gold;
His breast, a single onyx
His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!
- Emily Dickinson
Monarch Migration

Monarch butterfly migration hits Oklahoma sometime this month.

Butterflies are important pollinators whose habitats are disappearing.

Make your own butterfly habitat with this lesson:

Writing Prompt

You are a migrating Monarch butterfly. Describe some of the most interesting places you have visited.

The Extremely Curious Oklahoma Caterpillar, You must have Promethean installed to open (Need help?)Please be patient with us as we learn how to use this new technology.
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Smart Board Acitivity page
Integrated Pest Management

Protecting pollinators and other beneficial insects is one of the reasons many farmers use Integrated Pest Management methods. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. IPM programs use current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. This information, in combination with available pest control methods, is used to manage pest damage by the most economical means and with the least possible hazard to people, property and the environment.

Learn more about IPM from these online AITC lessons:

Lost Ladybug Project

Over the past 20 years, several native ladybug species that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time, several species of ladybugs from other places have great increased both their numbers and range. Ladybugs are essential predators in both farms and forests that keep us from being overrun with pests like aphids and mealybugs

Burns, Loree Griffin, and Ellen Harasimowicz, Chronicle of a Honey Bee Catastrophe, Houghton Mifflin, 2010. (Grades 5 and Above)
A commercial beekeeper explains that our food supply depends on the bees.
Ehlert, Lois, Waiting for Wings, Harcourt, 2001. (Grades PreK-2)
"Out in the fields, eggs are hidden from view, / clinging to leaves with butterfly glue. / Soon caterpillars hatch. They creep and chew. / Each one knows what it must do." As the gentle rhyme unfolds, we turn the small, partial pages that form the larger spread of foliage. Before our eyes, the eggs turn to caterpillars, the caterpillars to cases, the cases to lovely butterflies.
Hopkinson, Deborah, and Jen Corace, The Humblebee Hunter, Hyperion, 2010. (Grades PreK-3)
The story of Charles Darwin's children and the way they helped him with his research by collecting specimens and making observations. For example, his daughter Henryetta counted the number of flowers a "humblebee,' or bumblebee could visit ina minute (21).
Kelly, Irene, It's a Butterfly's Life, Holiday House, 2007. (Grades 1-5)
Colorful and accurate illustrations depict a wide array of different butterflies and moths, their caterpillars, eggs and even the chrysalis of some. The book discusseswhatand how butterflies eat and behave, their life cycles, mating, metamorphosis, anatomy, predators and camouflage. Includes examples of plants the butterfliesl ike to visitand other facts.
Ray, Hannah, Bees (Down on the Farm), Crabtree, 2008, (Grades PreK-2)