Bug of the Week: Celebrate Pollinators!

It's National Pollinator Week (June 17 through June 23, 2012) and we're celebrating insect pollinators!

Did you know that many plants will not produce fruit unless they are properly pollinated? Roughly one third of the food in the grocery store, from apples to vanilla, would no longer be available if there were no pollinators to carry pollen from flower to flower. Fortunately, there are bats, birds, butterflies, bees (and more) to get the job done.

The National Pollinator Week website has plenty of resources to help you participate and to learn more, including:

Activities for Kids,

and Information for Educators.

If you follow the educators link, you will see the Bee Smart School Garden Kit ( I believe this is available a $150 donation). Scroll down to Additional Useful Resources to find a free 127 page curriculum Nature's Partner's to download (.pdf) and other helpful resources.

When we think of pollinators, of course the honey bee springs to mind. If you click on the bees category here at Growing with Science, you will find photographs and information about a variety of different bees that also are important pollinators.

Related science activities:

1. Honey bee anatomy

2. Honey bee life cycle

3. Honey bee science activities

4. How honey bees keep warm

Butterflies travel from flower to flower feeding on nectar, and also distribute pollen.

Butterfly science activities

Although they don't get as much press, flies are pollinators,

like this flower fly,

and beetles are pollinators, as well.

Yes, insects do make our world a better place.

Which pollinators are your favorites?

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