Post written by Angela Kettle, School Programs Coordinator.
Daily Discovery: Pollination Investigation
Did you know that one out of every four bites of food you eat comes courtesy of bee pollination, according to the United States Department of Agriculture? In their search for nectar, bees bring pollen from one flower’s anthers to another flower’s stigma, paving the way for cross-pollinating plants to bear new seeds. Find out how it works in the activity below!
- Pencil and paper
- Colored pencils, markers, or crayons (optional)
- 1 pipe cleaner or 3 cotton swabs
- A fine powder, such as powdered sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika… or even the ‘chip dust’ at the bottom of a bag of chips
- Draw two flowers of the same species and one bee, or print the template out (included in the PDF). Color your bee and your flowers if desired. Cut the bee and the two flowers out.
- If you are using a pipe cleaner, cut it into 6 pieces and tape on to the bee as legs. If you are using double-ended cotton swabs, cut in half and attach 6 the halves to the bee as legs.
- Fly around like a bee! Land your bee in the center of the first flower, in search of nectar. Have your bee take a big drink of nectar (which it will later use to make honey!), then fly off to the second flower. Did your bee accidentally bring some pollen from the first flower to the second? This is pollination!
- How can you help bees do their important work? Check out these tips from National Geographic!