While some seeds benefit from soaking before you plant them, bean seeds may suffer damage from soaking because excess water usually causes the seed to crack. Bean seeds require a drier environment for successful germination of a strong bean plant. Learn about the physical anatomy of a bean seed, however, by soaking bean seeds either in plain water or in saturated paper towels. After the bean seeds are soft from soaking, you can then split the seeds apart to examine the insides of the bean seeds.
Place the bean seeds into the bowl.
Cover the bean seeds with at least 1 inch of cool water.
Leave the bean seeds undisturbed overnight, for best results. Minimum soaking is four hours--eight hours is better for softening beans.
Drain the bean seeds and lay them out to examine them.