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No one was fooled by the mystery pollinator last week.

Although it looks like honey bee, it is actually a flower fly.

This is a honey bee.

The flower fly is a honey bee mimic. If you look closely, the real honey bee has longer antennae, and has four wings rather than two.

Honey bees also have large flattened areas on their hind legs called pollen baskets.

Another difference is that honey bees collect and carry pollen on purpose, whereas flower flies feed on nectar and are accidental pollen carriers.

Regardless, they are both fun to watch!

Excited about pollinators? Then it's time to get prepared:

National Pollinator Week is coming up June 17-23, 2019. If you'd like to participate, visit the website. Be sure to scroll down to the bottom for activities and fact sheets to download.

Suggested pollinator activity:  Read the children's picture book Flower Talk: How Plants Use Color to Communicate by Sara C. Levine and illustrated by Masha D'yans.

Narrated by the snarky purple cactus you see on the cover, Flower Talk explores why plants "talk" to animals via their flowers and how they entice the animals to carry their pollen from place to place.

After establishing why plants need animals to help them,

"What would you do if your legs were stuck in the ground for your entire life?"

Levine goes into details about how the different flower colors attract different kinds of pollinators. She also notes that plants with green flowers, like grasses, "aren't talking to anyone." They are wind pollinated.

Masha D'yans' amazing digitally-enhanced watercolor illustrations add just the right amount of fun to keep kids entranced.

Although the text has humorous fictional touches, the extensive back matter is serious. "More About Pollinators" has detailed scientific illustrations of flower parts and explains all the nuts-and-bolts of how pollination works. Other sections cover how to help protect pollinators and where to find out more about plants and pollinators.

Flower Talk is perfect for kids who love fiction as well as for kids who prefer nonfiction. Pick up a copy and find out what the "talk" is all about.

Age Range: 7 - 11 years
Publisher: Millbrook Press TM (March 5, 2019)
ISBN-10: 1541519280
ISBN-13: 978-1541519282

See our growing list of children's books about pollination.

Disclosure: This book was provided by our local library. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.