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The Power of Pollination

Plants and animals can form relationships called mutualisms. These relationships benefit both the plant and the animal and help them survive.

Pollination is how animals (and sometimes wind) help plants to reproduce, or in other words, make new plants. Bees are important pollinators, among others. To make more plants, pollen needs to be transferred from one flower to another. But plants can’t move, so they need some help. Bees need food to survive, collecting pollen and nectar from flowers to take it back to their hive to make into food. However, when the bees fly from flower to flower, they spread pollen by dropping tiny amounts, thereby pollinating the flower.  The flower will turn into a fruit with seeds inside, which will eventually grow into a new plant. How incredible!

Without the help from the pollinators, the plants would not be able to make new plants and survive. Likewise, without the pollen and nectar from plants, pollinators would not have the necessary food to survive. Check out the bee with full pollen sacs on its legs in the gallery of photos! 

Diagram of parts of a flower
Key parts of a flower involved in pollination. 
Diagram depicting pollination
How pollination occurs: a bee lands on one flower before flying to another. Pollen from the first flower is moved to the second flower.  

Activities - The power of pollination

1. Pollination and poetry

Pollination, what a cool word! Write an acrostic poem where each letter is the name of a living thing. Now try it for non-living things.

2. Visit the Pollination Portal

Learn more about the types of bees by heading to the Kitchen Garden Section of the Pollination Portal. Name four different types of bees you might find in your garden. Do they all make honey?

3. Lets sing

Sing along with the Bee Karaoke below. Write down all 26 letters of the alphabet and see if you can add a word to each letter that Amelie sings about in her Bee song.

4. Scientific drawings

Look at the ‘parts of a flower’ diagram above. Go outside into your school grounds or your own backyard and find three flowers. Draw a careful scientific picture of each flower and label as many parts as you can. 

5. Flower observations

Choose a place with many flowers and sit quietly and observe for five minutes. Using natural objects (eg. sticks or rocks) as counters, make a tally of how many pollinators/pollination events you see. Do you think this number would change if you repeated this exercise on another time and day? What do you think might cause different pollinator movements? 

6. Parts of a bee

Can you identify the correct parts of a bee below?

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