Summer SAVY 2016 (Session 4AM, Day 7) – Budding Botanist
Wow! Today was very exciting!
The students have asked a lot of questions about pollinators and honeybees. They knew that they were important to the life cycle of plants, but weren’t sure why. They were amazed to learn what a key role bees play in pollination! They learned about the roles of the workers, drones, queen, and nurses and what jobs the males and females had. They also learned that workers work 12 hours per day gathering nectar and pollen and can carry as much as their own body weight in pollen! They have sacs on their legs and hairs that help to hold the pollen. A worker bee, in their lifetime, only makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey. So one pint of honey takes 2 million flowers and over 55,000 miles of travel by the worker bees. They only live about 35 days (unless they are born during the cooler weather and they can then live 4-6 months), so that is a lot of work! They were fascinated to know that!
Next, we drew what we saw under the microscopes: pollen, and anther with pollen on it, and actual bee pollen so that they could see what the bees were transporting. They thought this was amazing and it was very different looking than they imagined. We also looked at different types of flowers and found how they are alike and different. They were amazed that baby’s breath is so small but has such a pungent odor, the lilies were shaped very differently than the other flowers, and the carnations had a strong smell but they couldn’t find the anthers in them. They were also amazed at how much water got on their hands when they broke the stems. The stems transport a lot of water!
We monitored our experiments and talked about what a greenhouse is because, tomorrow, we are going to walk to the greenhouse on campus! They have some amazing examples of plants, and some of them are extremely rare. The professor over the greenhouse will be teaching them about the different species and their adaptations, as well as showing them how a greenhouse works. It will be wonderful!
Have a great night!