No impromptu honey bee study would be complete without a quick look at compound eyes. I thought, briefly, about running into town to see if I could find a pair of "bee" glasses at a toy store, but we had company coming in, and T (age 17) had a midterm scheduled, with our associate pastor coming over to proctor (meaning I had a house to clean, and thank you cookies to bake), so I opted for something the younger children and I could put together quickly.
After fumbling around our craft closet, we came across a couple of plastic eggs (this is a great time of year to pick up a package or two, on clearance, to use for projects just like this). We pulled the bottoms off of two of them, and I (it takes a bit of hand strength) poked a bunch of holes in them with a thumbtack.
Bees' eyes are made up of thousands of tiny lenses, giving them a mosaic-type sight, much like looking through the holes in the eggs.
When we were satisfied with the number of holes punched, we taped the eggs together, glasses style, with two pieces of clear tape, sticky sides together, for a bridge...
...and a piece of elastic string tied through holes near the outside edge, to hold them on.
They aren't a perfect representation of compound eyes, but they are pretty neat to look through, and quick to make. The only thing that might make them better would be using red colored eggs. Apparently, honey bees don't see red, and I think looking though holes in red eggs might make it hard for the children to see red, too - that would be a nice effect.
If you're interested, you can find out more about honey bees, their vision, and compound eyes at http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/ahb/inf2.html.