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Insect Activities

Insect Feeding Station Activity

Insects will drink up your feeding station.
Insects will drink up your feeding station.

Build an insect feeding station and watch flying insects gather 'round. In the summer, you can make an outdoor warm-weather feeding station for butterflies, wasps and bees. Keep in mind that brightly colored bowls and sponges may attract more insects.

What You'll Need:

  • Measuring cup
  • Warm water
  • Honey
  • Bowl
  • Sponge
  • Bucket
  • Binoculars


Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of warm water with 1/2 cup of honey. Pour this into a bowl. Lay the sponge in the bowl. You want the honey-water solution to be just at the top of the sponge to keep it moist. You may have to remove some of the honey-water solution, or you may need to add more.



Step 2: Put the honey-water bowl in a yard or field. You'll want to lift it off the ground a bit. You can turn a bucket upside down, and put the bowl on top of the bucket. Leave for 1 hour, and then use binoculars to observe how your visitors drink the honey-water.


Pass up this activity if you or anybody near you is allergic to bee or wasp stings. Stay back as the wasps and bees visit the feeding station. They will usually not bother you unless you bother them.

Only remove the station when you are sure no wasps or bees are around. Hose off everything outside before you bring anything inside.

What Happened?

Many insects have a great sense of smell. The ones visiting your station may have detected the smell from 50 yards away. Wasps and bees are social insects, which means they live in hives.

When one member found the honey-water, she told other workers. This is why you might have noticed many wasps or bees at your station.

Butterflies and moths may have also fed at your station. Butterflies are active during the day, and moths are active at night. A butterfly drinks using a long, curled proboscis, which resembles a coiled straw.

Bees and wasps don't have proboscises; they drink using their long tongues.

Fun Fact

Butterflies have taste receptors in their feet! When they land on something that tastes good, their taste receptors stimulate their proboscis to unroll and suck up the sweet-tasting substance.

Continue to the next page for a fun insect activity you can do on your front lawn.

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