Author: Erin Altschule

The first objective of this lesson is to understand how bees pollinate plants. 

Students should preview the information in the tutorial to enable them do the flower dissection and pollinator observation lessons. 

As a follow-up students will be able to play a game acting out the pollination process. 

"Ultimately, all life on Earth depends on plants to provide food, shelter, and oxygen for other living things. Consequently, plant reproduction is crucial to all other life on this planet. The first step in plant reproduction is the intricate process called pollination, which occurs when pollen grains, the male germ cell of a plant, reach the stigma, the female reproductive part of the same species of plant. Depending on the plant species, a flower can produce male, female, or both structures. Pollination can also occur within the same flower.

Most flowering plants (90 percent) depend on animals to make the vital pollen-grain delivery. The remaining flowering plants rely on wind and some-times splashing raindrops to ferry pollen, but this is a less precise method. Pollinating animals do the job for a reward: food, usually in the form of nectar."

From Smithsonianeducation.org


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Burt talks to the bees

This video shows the process of pollination.

Source: pollinator.org

Honey Bee Pollinating

Check out this bee pollinating a flower.

Pollinator Lesson

Please read and review the pollinator lesson we will do.

Full Screen

Source: Coastal Maine Botanicals Gardens-Mainegardens.org

Follow up pollination game

Check out the background information and game we will play as a follow up to the main lesson.

Full Screen

Source: Project Food Land and People-Buzzy Buzzy Bee - buzzy_buzzy_bee.pdf

People Plants and Pollinators

Check out this National Geographic Live talk by Dr. Dino Martens for some international perspective.

Source: National Geographic Live-People Plants and Pollinators

Cool Facts


·  There are about 20,000 species of bees worldwide

·  They live and depend on nectar and pollen entirely for food

·  Bees see ultra-violet radiation

·  Bees are attracted to bright colors, primarily yellow and blue. They cannot see true red as a bright color- it appears dull to them

·  Bees see "honey guides" on flowers which are markings that may not be visible to the human eye

·  Bees can detect odor and prefer sweet fragarance

·  Bees pollinate by day and usually the flowers they pollinate will close at night!

·  Bees usually prefer cup-shaped flowers which are shallow and have landing pads

·  Bees communicate to each other the location of rich nectar by performing a dance of turns and wiggles


Source: The University of Arizona Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics General Biology Program for Secondary Teachers