San Pedro students turned into a bunch of hungry pollinators in the garden!
Many of the students knew that bees, hummingbirds and butterflies were important pollinators, but they didn’t know exactly why or how they pollinated the plants in the garden. To illustrate the pollinators’ important role, we studied some beautiful Irises!
We discovered that the pollen is formed on the anthers, the orange-powder covered stalks on the outer circle, and the eggs — which will become seeds when fertilized — are located at the bottom of the pistil, the long stalk in the center.
Of course, everyone knew that the bees collected pollen to make honey. But what in the world do the butterflies and hummingbirds want?
Well, in addition to containing the eggs, the pistil is full of delicious nectar that the hummingbirds drink with their long beaks, and the butterflies drink with their uncurled proboscis. This is where they get their energy! And while trying to get to the delicious nectar, the birds and butterflies get covered in pollen. Once that pollen gets on the pistil, the eggs become fertilized and seeds are formed! We owe pollinators lots of thanks; without them, we’d have no beautiful flowers or delicious food!
After transforming into pollinators, the little pollinators were pretty hungry for a snack! So we made Almond-Honey Energy Balls!