University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Swarm! The Honey Bee Game

This game was designed to be used in a classroom with one teacher and about 10-30 students in groups of 3-4. The following materials are all available for free download on our website, and we have listed the recommended preparation or use for each material. The lesson linked below contains a detailed lesson plan with connections to NGSS, learning objectives, background knowledge, and suggested implementation in an integrated curriculum unit.

  • Game Rulebook for teachers: PDF color printed as booklet on letter-size paper
  • Excel spreadsheet for teachers to assist with gameplay: use on computer
  • Set of Environmental Events cards: single-sided color print on letter-size paper, cut and laminated
  • Quickrules and game board sheet for students: single-sided color print  on letter-size paper and laminated
  • Student sheet to help students track their reasoning: double-sided grayscale print on letter-size paper

To play the game, we also recommend that you have

  • A computer with Excel
  • Whiteboard
  • Game pieces (tiddly-winks, pennies, etc.)
  • Small cups for game pieces
  • Dice

Swarm! was developed by Claudia Lutz, PhD, Robert Wallon, and Hillary Lauren. Graphics and illustrations by Hillary Lauren.

Swarm! is a cooperative board game in which a classroom of students act as bees in a hive by producing food, taking care of larvae, and surviving unexpected events! Designed by honey bee experts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this educational game demonstrates how honey bees work together--as well as individually--to help the colony thrive.


Access instructions and materials in: 
Part of the curriculum unit: