Name________________________________________________________________________Period______ What is “Pollination” & What is a “Pollinator?” • The act of “pollination” occurs when pollen grains are moved between two flowers of the same species by wind or animals. Successful pollination results in the production of healthy fruit and fertile seeds, allowing plants to reproduce. Without pollinator visits to tomatoes and other fruit and vegetable plants in our gardens, we would have no produce! • Almost 90% of all flowering plants rely on animal pollinators for fertilization, and about 200,000 species of animals act as pollinators. Of those, 1,000 are hummingbirds, bats, and small mammals such as mice. The rest are insects like beetles, bees, ants, wasps, butterflies and moths. Why Are Pollinators Important to Us? • Worldwide, approximately 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we depend. • Foods and beverages produced with the help of pollinators include: apples, bananas, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins, vanilla, almonds, and tequila. (Imagine a world without some of these things!) • In the United States, pollination by honeybees and other insects produces $40 billion worth of products annually! Butterflies and Moths Monarch butterflies in eastern North America have one of the longest migrations of any species! Their flights can last for thousands of miles, from Canada to central Mexico. Butterflies and moths need a place to land on the flowers that they visit, so they prefer broad, flat-faced flowers. Since they have long, straw-like mouth-parts, they can suck nectar from deep within the flower. Pollinator Observation Materials: Outdoor habitat, magnifying lense, clipboards, whiteboards and markers, chromebooks. 1. Observe an area in the schoolyard that you believe would make an appropriate habitat for pollinators. Sit SILENTLY (we don’t want to scare the butterflies!) for 5 minutes to observe any pollinators (especially butterflies!) nearby. Record your observations below. 2. Spend the next 5 minutes using a magnifying lense to observe the plants for eggs and larvae. Record your observations below. 3. While you are waiting for other students to finish, review each of your observations. Think critically to write a question that relates to each observation. For example: Observation = I saw a caterpillar munching on a leaf. Question = How much does a caterpillar eat in one day? 4. Decide which one of your questions is the most interesting to you and put a star next to this question. Type of Pollinator Life Stage (Bee, Moth, Monarch, other butterfly, etc) (egg, larva, chrysalis, adult) Observation Question 5. Return to your lab group and share what you observed. Each student will have a chance to share their most interesting question that came to mind. 6. As a group, select one question from the group discussion and write this one question on the whiteboard. Then discuss the following, and write your answers on the whiteboard. You will share this information with the rest of the class. a. What is your group’s question? b. What do you hypothesize is the answer to this question? c. Briefly, describe how you would test your hypothesis with an experiment. d. Use the Internet to see what you can find about your question. Write one fact here and on your whiteboard. Extensions: Use your chromebook to research the following: 1. How have flowers adapted to attract butterflies as pollinators? 2. How are butterfly-pollinated flowers different than bird-pollinated flowers? 3. Draw a picture of a butterfly-pollinated flower below.