Exploratorium home


Bee Hummer

Going Further

  • Cut the leading edge of the card into a different shape.

  • Decorate the card with crayons or markers.

  • Try using different kinds of string, like fishing twine or different kite string, to see how the sound changes.

  • Use different-sized rubber bands.

  • Use a thumbtack or another hard surface under the rubber band to compare to the eraser.

Background Science

Secret Bells Activity
The site offers a related activity that also uses sound vibrations, showing kids how to make bells and chimes out of forks, spoons, and string.
http://nsdl.exploratorium.edu/nsdl/showRecord.do?id=10955&qid=SAQ-0&itemsPerPage=10&index=0
Ages: 8-13

Videos of Dances with Bees
On NOVA’s Tales from the Hive site, watch how honeybees “dance” to communicate to their hivemates the location, quantity, and quality of nearby food sources.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bees/dances.html
Ages: 11-13

Biology of Plants: Pollination
Learn how animals and wind carry pollen from plant to plant, and how plants produce seeds after being pollinated. This site from the Missouri Botanical Gardens also has a slow-motion video clip of a hummingbird pollinating a flower.
http://www.mbgnet.net/bioplants/pollination.html
Ages: 6-8

The Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
Find out everything you need to know about bees from this rich site. Learn how to raise bees in your backyard, or how Malaysian villagers hunt for honey. Follow bees through their hive using the BeeCam, or explore the fluctuations of bee populations with a simulated hive.
http://apps.exploratorium.edu/10cool/click-through.php?id=973
Age: Educators

Vocal Vowels
This online exhibit from the Exploratorium lets you listen and understand how a duck call can be transformed into a human vowel sound. Compare this sound to the ones made by your bee hummer.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/exhibits/vocal_vowels/vocal_vowels.html
Age: Educators


Back to Bee Hummer videos


  • Bee Hummer
  • Bottle Blast Off
  • Color Chromatography
  • Cuica
  • Cup Speakers
  • Ice Balloons
  • Jitterbug
  • Sound Sandwich
  • Stripped Down Motor
  • Water Bottle Membranophone
  • Whirling Watcher

Explore more things to make and do

Explore more things to make and do