1 Bees and Flowers Partners in Pollination - Local Plant Community Investigation - Flower Dissection - Flower Collections - Build a Flower Build a Bee - Bee Collections - Making Pollen Slides Rural Science Education Program A partnership between Oregon State University and rural K-12 schools
2 Designers, editors, and contributors Sujaya Rao, editor and director, Rural Science Education Program (Associate Professor of Entomology) Melissa Scherr, lead author, former graduate fellow, Rural Science Education Program, (Graduate student in Entomology) Joleen Schilling, author and designer (Graduate student in Environmental Sciences) Rural Science Education Program The Rural Science Education Program is a partnership between Oregon State University and local rural K-12 schools for enrichment of the science curriculum with hands-on science activities that encourage critical thinking in K-12 students about the impacts of agriculture on the environment and the implications of advanced scientific research on human lives. For More Information For more information about the Rural Science Education Program, contact Sujaya Rao (phone: (541) ; fax: (541) This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and the editor, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Toshiba America Foundation.
3 CONTENTS Lesson 1: Local Plant Community Investigation Introduction Day 1 Lesson Plan Plant Community Investigation Lesson 2: Flower Dissection Introduction Day 1 Lesson Plan Flower Dissection Student Handout - Basic Flower Parts Student Worksheet - Flower Drawing Data Sheet Lesson 3: Flower Collections Introduction Day 1 Lesson Plan Collecting Plants Day 2 Lesson Plan Making a Plant Catalogue Day 3 Lesson Plan Identifying Plants Student Handout Flower Collection Label Student Handout Common Leaf Types Student Handout Basic Flower Structure Lesson 4: Build a Flower- Build a Bee Day 1 Lesson Plan Build a Flower Build a Bee Lesson 5: Bee Collections Lesson Plan Day 1 - Setting up the bee traps Lesson Plan Day 2 Collecting the Bees Lesson Plan Day 3 Identifying the Bees Student Handout Bee Identification Labels Lesson 6: Preparing Pollen Slides Lesson Plan Day 1 Preparing the Pollen Slides Lesson Plan Day 2 Analyzing the Pollen Photographs This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
4 Lesson 1 Plant Community Investigation Description This lesson will introduce students to native plant communities in their region. Using a combination of research materials (internet, books, journal articles) students will investigate the different types of native plants (grasses, flowering plants, trees, and shrubs) that makeup a plant community. Students will investigate the animals that live in those communities and the important roles that animals play in a healthy, functioning plant community. This activity is a building block for the Flower Collections Lesson. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will learn about local plant diversity in their community Students will learn about plant communities in their region Students will learn how plant communities differ (plants, soil type, and wildlife) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a native and a non-native plant Students will investigate the effects of non-native plants on native plants and wildlife (extinction and loss of habitat) Students will make suggestions for conserving and protecting native plant communities Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Science Diversity and Interdependence Understand the relationships among living things and between living things and their environment. Benchmark 3 Identify and describe the factors that influence or change the balance of populations in their environment. Identify populations of organisms within an ecosystem by the functions that they serve. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
5 Explain the importance of niche to an organism s ability to avoid direct competition for resources. Describe how animal and plant structures adapt to environmental change. Time Estimate One 50-minute class period Additional time outside of class to complete research Materials Books Computers Internet Trade magazines List of regional native plant and animal species Worksheets N/A Vocabulary Native plant: plants that occur naturally in an area or that have existed for many years in an area. Native plants form a plant community where several species or environments have developed to support them. Non-native plant: plants that are introduced to a new area where they did not previously exist. Urbanization: the process of changing the landscape to support a population. Food webs: the feeding relationships between producers, consumers, and decomposers within an ecosystem. Interdependent species interactions: This might include a situation where a plant exists because a specific insect pollinates that plant and that pollinator relies on the plant as a food source. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
6 Background Information The students will research background information themselves during the plant community scavenger hunt. Lesson Plan Day 1 Plant Community Investigation Extensions/Resources Return of the Natives - Recognizing Native Plants in the Local Community This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
7 Lesson Plan Plant Community Investigation Introduction Plant communities are areas where similar plant species live together in the same habitat. The types of plant communities that grow in a particular habitat are related to factors such as geography, climate and soil type. Note: Italicized words are potential script for the teacher. The habitat affects the type of plant communities that dominate a region. As habitat changes, plant communities will change. Many factors such as competition from non-native plant species, natural disturbances (fire), changes in climate, and human disturbances (urbanization and agriculture) can affect plant communities in a habitat. These result in changes in the environment, available wildlife habitat, and soil conditions. However, there are things that we can do to protect these habitats. Conservation biologists protect and conserve natural areas where native plant communities exist. They work to remove and prevent the spread of non-native plants that can negatively impact local native plant communities. Once they remove the invasive plants, conservation biologists replant native plants to boost existing populations and increase wildlife habitat. Many conservation biologists are working with students just like you to protect and conserve natural areas. In this activity you are going to investigate a native plant community in our region to help conservation biologists learn about plant communities, wildlife, soil, climate, and changes that have occurred over time in that region and what impacts these have had on the habitat. Divide the class into groups that represent different habitats in your region. Each group should have at least four students. Habitat examples include: prairies, temperate deciduous forests, temperate coniferous forests, tropical rainforests, or deserts. Regions will vary depending on where you live. Procedures Each group will investigate a different habitat in the region. Individual group members will research a different aspect (listed below) of that habitat. 1. Dominant plants in the community 2. Types of wildlife found in that community This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
8 3. Habitat components of their community (animal habitat, water, soil, climate, and food resources). Students need to make the connection between the plant communities and the habitat components. 4. Changes that have occurred over time (agriculture and urbanization) 5. How those changes have affected the habitat (competition for resources, habitat loss, species extinction, etc.) 6. What can be done for conservation and protection of native plants (conserving natural areas, removing and preventing non-native plant invasions, and reintroducing native plants into their natural habitat) Once group members have completed their research they will work together to compile their information in a scientific report. The groups will then construct a mural that represents their habitats. The mural needs to include the food web and the interdependent relationships that exist within the habitat. Group members will present their findings to the class, along with their mural. As a class students will discuss why native plants are important, the effects of agriculture and urbanization on native plant communities, and stewardship. Report Guidelines Go over standard APA formatting Include methods for in-text citations and bibliographies This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
9 Lesson 2 Flower Dissection Description In this lesson students will dissect flowers to lean about the different parts of the flower and how specific functions relate to a plant s survival. Students will use living plant specimens to make a detailed drawing of a flower that would make the plant identifiable to another person in the field. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will be able to identify basic flower structures. Students will learn what flower parts are involved in pollination and fertilization. Students will gain experience in scientific field journaling. Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Science Heredity Understand the transmission of traits in living things. Benchmark 3 Understand the transmission of traits in living things. Describe how the traits of an organism are passed from generation to generation. Subject: Life Science Organisms Describe the characteristics, structure, and functions of organisms. Benchmark 2 Group or classify organisms based on a variety of characteristics. Classify a variety of living things into groups using various characteristics. Time Estimate One 50-minute class period This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
10 Materials Flowers with simple structures (lilies, tulips, irises, etc.) Glass dissecting bowl Hand lens Scissors Scalpel Tweezers Rulers Overhead/ Flower Parts Handout Worksheets Day 1 Flower parts handout Flower drawing data sheet Vocabulary Petals Leaf-like, often colorful part of the plant that surrounds the reproductive parts of the flower and make the flower conspicuous to pollinators. Petals collectively form the corolla. Sepals Green leaf-like structures that protect the flower bud. Collectively sepals are referred to as the calyx. Sometimes sepals are colorful like the petals. Stamens The male parts of the flower that produces pollen grains. Stamens consist of a filament and an anther. Anther Forms pollen grains. Filament Supports the anther. Pistil The female part of the flower, which is comprised of three parts stigma, style, and ovary. Stigma Where pollen grains land on the pistil. Style Connects the stigma and ovary. Pollen grains travel to the ovary via the style. Ovary The lower, often times enlarged part of the pistil, which contains the egg cells and produces the seeds. The ovary becomes the fruit. Ovule Found inside the ovary and after fertilization develop into seeds. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
11 Background Information Students should have some background knowledge about botany and be familiar with general botany terms. Lesson Plan Day 1 Flower dissection Extensions/Resources Identifying plant families Botanical terminology and pictures This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
12 Lesson Plan Flower Dissection Introduction The different parts of flowers are specialized to help plants reproduce as efficiently as possible. Note: Italicized words are potential script for the teacher. There is a female part of the flower, and a male part of the flower. The female part of the flower is in the center (point), and is made up of the ovary, the style, and the stigma. The stigma is sticky and captures the pollen from other flowers (sometimes carried on the legs and abdomen of bees). The pollen germinates on the stigma and travels down the inside of the style, toward the ovary. Once the pollen reaches the ovary, it combines with the female gamete to make a seed, or ovule. The male part of the flower is the anther, stamen and filament. The anther (like the antler of a MALE moose) carries the pollen, which fertilizes the female parts of the flower. The stamen and the filament hold up the anther. The petals are the colorful structures that help the flower to attract pollinators. Sepals are like petals, usually attaching below the petals on the receptacle. The receptacle is the part of the flower that is left once the flower has been fertilized, and the petals fall off. This part of the flower swells as the seeds develop. The peduncle is the junction between the receptacle and the stem of the flower. Divide the class into groups of two. As a class, go over the parts of the flower and the vocabulary using the flower parts overhead. Setting up the activity Explain the use and safety precautions of the dissection tools. Demonstrate how to begin dissecting the flower. Procedure: Dissecting the flower Each group needs to have one flower, a dissecting bowl, a set of dissecting tools, a hand lens, and a ruler. Each group member needs to draw a general picture of his or her flower. Note the color, texture, size, and odor. Place the flower in the glass-dissecting bowl. Position your scalpel in the middle of the flower, and very CAREULLY, make a vertical incision to open the flower. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
13 Use the Flower Part handout to identify the petals, sepals, anther, stamen, filament, stigma, style, ovary, and pistil. Each group member needs to draw a detailed cross section of his or her flower. Label the petals, sepals, anther, stamen, filament, stigma, style, ovary, and pistil. Using the hand lens, carefully examine the anther to see if it is producing pollen. Look inside the ovary. Can you see the ovules. The ovules will become the seeds once fertilized and pass on the genetic information for this plant. If you are able to see pollen or ovules make note of that on your drawing. Cleanup Collect plant material and dispose of it in the designated area. Extension questions 1. How do different flower parts function? For example, what is the function of the petals? 2. How does this relate to a plants survival? 3. Why is pollination important to a plants survival? 4. How do you think color, shape, texture, patterns, odors, and food rewards affect pollination? This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
14 Flower Parts Handout Source: This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
15 Flower drawing data sheet Flower drawing should be in color and represent the flower accurately enough that somebody in the field would be able to identify a flower from your drawing. General flower drawing Scientific name: Common name: Color Texture Size (cm) Odor Count the number of: Petals Sepals Anthers Stigma This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
16 Detailed cross section of your flower Label Petals Sepals Pistil Stigma Style Stamens Filament Anther Questions about your flower 1. Did you notice any pollen on the anthers of your flower? How does the pollen stick to the stigma (hint feel the tip of the stigma)? 2. What part(s) of your flower attract pollinators to the flower? 3. What part(s) of the flower are used in pollination and how? This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
17 Lesson 3 Flower Collections Description The purpose of this activity is to teach students how plant collections can be used to learn about the history of an area. Students will investigate how plants can help scientists to determine how animals and insects rely on plants for food and habitat. Students will learn how a plant catalogue can be used to learn about climate change and natural disturbances, such as fire. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will learn the basic skills and reasons botanists collect and preserve plants Students will learn how to use a plant press to prepare herbarium quality plant specimens Students will use a dichotomous key to identify plants from preserved specimens Students will use different plant parts to identify plants Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Science Diversity and Interdependence Analyze how living things have changed geological time, using fossils and other scientific evidence. Subject: Life Science Organisms Describe the characteristics, structure, and functions of organisms. Benchmark 2 Group or classify organisms based on a variety of characteristics. Classify a variety of living things into groups using various characteristics. Time Estimate Three 50-minute class periods This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
18 Materials Plastic bags Hand trowels Refrigerator Flower press 2 wooden boards (12 x 18 ) and cardboard (12 x 18 ) for each specimen, 2 straps to hold the press closed (like a belt) Newspaper Mounting paper White glue Pre-made identification labels Simple dichotomous key of local plants Worksheets Day 3 - Flower collection label - Common Leaf Types handout - Basic Flower Structure handout Vocabulary Regular flower: A flower with petals or sepals all of equal size and shape, i.e. radially symmetrical or capable of being divided into mirror images on either side of any plane that passes through the center. Irregular flower: An irregular flower is not radially symmetric. This means that the petals are not arranged around the center and are not equal in size. Petals Leaf-like, often colorful parts of the plant that surround the reproductive parts of the flower and make the flower conspicuous to pollinators. Petals collectively form the corolla. Sepals Green leaf-like structures that protect the flower bud. Collectively sepals are referred to as the calyx. Sometimes sepals are colorful like the petals. Stamens The male parts of the flower that produces pollen grains. Stamens consist of a filament and an anther. Anther Forms pollen grains. Filament Supports the anther. Pistil The female part of the flower, which is comprised of three parts stigma, style, and ovary. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
19 Stigma Where pollen grains land. Style Connects the stigma and ovary. Pollen grains travel to the ovary via the style. Ovary The lower, often times enlarged part of the pistil, which contains the egg cells and produces the seeds. The ovary becomes the fruit. Ovule Found inside the ovary and, after fertilization, develops into seeds. Background Information Students should have some background knowledge in ecology and the local plant communities in your area. Lesson Plan Day 1 Collecting plants Day 2 Making a plant catalogue Day 3 Identifying plants using a dichotomous key Extensions/Resources Wildlife Habitat Council Teaching students about backyard conservation PBS American Field Guide Teacher resources Create a local field guide of the plants in your community Identifying plant families Botanical terminology and pictures Return of the Natives - Collecting and Pressing Plants This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
20 Introduction Flower Collection Lesson Plan Day 1 When pioneers first began exploring the western and pacific northwestern United States, part of the responsibility of the exploration was to learn about the different kinds of plants in the new land. It was helpful to Note: Italicized words are potential script for the teacher. settlers to know what kinds of plants were edible and harmful, or could even be used medicinally. Pioneers and settlers brought plants from all over the world for food (agriculture) and beautification most of the plants in your gardens at home are probably from other places in the world. When plants from different parts of the world are introduced to new areas they can quickly adapt to their new environment and compete with the native plants in that area. When this happens it is difficult for botanists and biologists to know which plants are native and which plants are non-native. But we are not settlers, why are we collecting flowers? It s important to know, and to make a catalogue of the flowers and plants that are present in our area, because it can affect the kinds of animals and insects we have in the area as well. Certain insects select specific plants to feed on, and even to pollinate. Certain animals feed on the plants as well, or on the insects, like birds. Sometimes knowing the kinds of plants in the area will help us to make an educated guess about the kind of wildlife in the area, and what animals use for food and habitat. Plants can also tell us about local climate and conditions. For example, if you see a picture of a cactus, what can you guess about the weather in the region where it is growing? How is that different from seeing a picture of a rainforest? Knowing how plants in one area change over time can also tell us how the climate in that particular area has changed over time. But we cannot collect a tree! How do we know what part of the plant to collect? The most important parts of the plant to collect are the flowers and the leaves. Most of the identification of plants is based on the leaves and flowers, and in order to have an accurate collection, we have to be able to identify the plants correctly. (Visual demonstration of the important parts of the plant to collect would be helpful, with examples from herbaceous, woody and grassy representatives). Procedures: Organize class into groups for collecting plant specimens This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
21 Explain the rules for being in the area where the collecting is to be conducted 1. Stay on marked trails 2. Stay with a group 3. Tread lightly on the environment this is somebody s home Explain the procedures for collecting plants 1. Only collect plants in areas where there is a large population if there is only one plant and you want to collect it, continue looking for a larger population 2. Use your trowel to gently dig the plant up DO NOT simply tear it out of the ground 3. Do not trample other plants to collect your plant. Again, remember this is somebody s home. Collect the flowers and place them in a plastic bag until you return to the classroom. Once you return to the classroom place the plant specimens in a refrigerator. You will arrange the plants in the press on Day 2 of this activity. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
22 Pressing the flowers Lesson Plan Day 2 Introduction Today you will place the plant specimens you collected yesterday in a plant press. A plant press helps preserve a plant s original form and color so that it accurately represents the plant s natural characteristics. Each student will press his / her own plant, but each group will have their own plant press. It is important to include a label with your name on it so that you can identify your plant once it is completely dry. Procedures Remove your plants from the refrigerator and get a piece of newspaper from the front of the room and return to your table. Remove your plants from the bag and carefully remove any soil from the roots. Open your newspaper and arrange the flowers/plants in the center of your newspaper. Take special care to ensure that the plant lies flat and that all pieces of the plant are within the space of the newspaper. Include a slip of paper with your name on it. Carefully close the newspaper and bring it to your group s plant press. Each group member needs to place his / her plant specimen between two pieces of cardboard. Once all the group members have placed their plants between cardboard, sandwich the cardboard between the pressing boards The pressing boards will compress with a pair of pressing straps. It is important to make sure the straps are tight, but not so tight that they will crush the specimens. When the plants are secure in the press, place them in a designated area to dry. It will take plants about two weeks to dry. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
23 Identifying Plants Lesson Plan Day 3 Introduction This lesson requires access to a botanist who can provide a dichotomous key for identification of local plants. An alternative is to complete the lesson without plant identification. Today you are going to remove your plants from the plant press and mount them on durable mounting paper. You will also make a detailed label for your plant that gives the name of your plant (scientific and common name), where you collected it, the date that it was collected, and who collected the specimen. Using a dichotomous key you will answer a series of questions about your plant until you eventually discover its identity. A dichotomous key asks a series of questions. The questions refer to traits (flower color, shape, leaf arrangement, etc.) about your plant that will help you identify it. Each question has only two possible answers. Depending on your answer to the question, you will take one path or the other. Each path leads to a new question. Procedures Get a piece of mounting paper, dichotomous key, and a leaf, and the Common Leaf Types handout. Remove your plant from the plant press. Carefully transfer your plant from the newspaper to the mounting paper. Before your glue your specimen to the mounting paper, take a small scraping of the pollen from each of the flower heads. The pollen will be used in a future lesson on POLLEN SLIDES. The pollen will be placed in a small vial with the name of the flower and stored in the freezer. Using a VERY small amount of glue, adhere your specimen to the mounting paper. Once this is complete, use the dichotomous key and the Common Leaf Types and Basic Flower Structure handouts to identify your plant. Teachers should help students with this part of the activity to ensure that a correct identification is made. Fig This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
24 After the plant has been successfully identified, students need to complete an identification label. When students are finished their specimen should look like the example in Fig. 1. Extension questions Use the following questions to guide a class discussion on native plants. What do the plants and flowers tell us about where we live? If we found these same flowers in other parts of the world, what would we know about those places? Can we take any of the plants that we collected and grow them in other places? o Which places might they grow in? o Which places would be too different for them to grow? Why does it matter to know where certain plants can grow? o Agriculture o Endangered plants, habitat protection, etc. This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
25 Flower Collection Label Flower Name: Date Collected: Place Collected: Identified by: (Student Name) This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
26 Common Leaf Types Handout From Cornell Institute for Biology Teachers This material is based upon work supported by the Toshiba America Foundation
27 Basic Flower Structure Handout Regular flower: A flower with petals or sepals all of equal size and shape, i.e. radially symmetrical or capable of being divided into mirror images on either side of any plane that passes through the center. Irregular flower: An irregular flower is not radially symmetric. This means that the petals are not arranged around the center and are not equal in size.
28 Source: Petals Leaf-like, often colorful parts of the plant that surround the reproductive parts of the flower and make the flower conspicuous to pollinators. Petals collectively form the corolla. Sepals Green leaf-like structures that protect the flower bud. Collectively sepals are referred to as the calyx. Sometimes sepals are colorful like the petals. Stamens The male parts of the flower that produces pollen grains. Stamens consist of a filament and an anther. Anther Forms pollen grains. Filament Supports the anther. Pistil The female part of the flower, which is comprised of three parts stigma, style, and ovary. Stigma Where pollen grains land on a pistil Style Connects the stigma and ovary. Pollen grains travel to the ovary via the style. Ovary The lower, often times enlarged part of the pistil, which contains the egg cells and produces the seeds. The ovary becomes the fruit. Ovule Found inside the ovary, and after fertilization, develop into seeds.
29 Lesson 4 Build a Flower Build a Bee Description In this activity students will build a flower and a bee to learn about pollination mechanisms. Students will participate in two rounds of simulations that mimic pollination to determine which plant parts are responsible for pollen production. Bees will be constructed out of three different types of materials to determine which material is best at collecting and transferring pollen. Students will determine which part of the bee is responsible for collecting and transferring pollen. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will be able to identify the flower parts responsible for pollen production Students will learn the plant parts responsible for fertilization. Students will learn how bees collect and transfer pollen between flowers. Students will understand how the structures of bees and flowers are related to their functional role in pollination. Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Science Heredity Benchmark 3 Describe how the traits of an organism are passed from generation to generation. Distinguish between asexual and sexual reproduction. Subject: Life Sciences Diversity and Interdependence Identify how animals gather and store food, defend themselves, and find shelter. Benchmark 3 Explain the importance of niche to an organism s ability to avoid direct competition for resources. Identify populations of organisms within an ecosystem by the functions that they serve.
30 Time Estimate One 50-minute class period Materials Flowers: Multi-colored craft tissue Pipe cleaners Baby powder (pollen) Bees: Plain printed cotton fabric - represents no hair Felt fabric represents few hairs Cotton balls represents many hairs Pipe cleaners Elmer s glue Styrofoam craft balls, various sizes Scissors Drinking straws Worksheets None Vocabulary Pollination: The transfer of pollen from a stamen to a pistil. Pollination starts the production of seeds. Head: A bee s head has two large compound eyes and mouth full of specialized parts that help the bee lap nectar. Thorax: This is the middle part of the bee where all the muscles that help the bee fly are found. Abdomen: This is where the bee s digestive and reproductive organs are found. It is tipped with a sharp stinger in female bees. Forelegs: These are the bee s front legs. They have a special u-shaped notch for grooming and removing pollen from their antennae. Middle legs: A bee uses its middle legs to clean its wings and body, and to remove pollen from the hind legs to transfer to the hive.
31 Hind legs: The back legs of the bee, which are specially shaped and covered with little hairs to collect pollen. The bees store the pollen in pollen baskets, ballshaped pouches attached to the hind legs. Background Information Students should have some background knowledge about general flower and bee anatomy. Lesson Plan Day 1 Build a Flower Build a Bee Extensions/Resources The basics of bees Learn all about pollination Missouri Botanical Garden Biology of plants and pollination
32 Build a Flower Build a Bee Introduction Bees and flowers have existed together a very long time on earth, and have special structures that enable them to work so well as a team. Note: Italicized words are potential script for the teacher. Flowers need bees for pollination. To ensure that pollination occurs flowers have special colors and smells to attract bees. When bees visit a flower they collect pollen. This helps transfer pollen between flowers, helping to fertilize the plants. When this happens, the plants are able to produce seeds and grow new plants, increasing the plants population. Bees need flowers for pollen. Bees use pollen as a food source. By finding the best sources of pollen, bees can collect as much as they can carry to help supply the hive with food. Some bees also store enough pollen to get the hive through the winter when there is little or no pollen available. Procedures: To construct the flower: Have students select a color of tissue paper for their flower. Each student needs enough tissue paper to cutout inch squares of tissue paper. Once students select their tissue paper have them cut the tissue into inch squares. As students are cutting out their squares have them stack the tissue paper in neat piles so that the edges are all aligned. Next, fold the tissue in a fan style: fold one edge forward about ¼ inch, then turn the pile over and fold back ¼ inch. Repeat this until the pile is completely folded. When the pile is fully folded in the fan style, secure the pile in the center with a pipe cleaner, leaving one end of the pipe cleaner long, as a stem. Tease the layers of tissue apart and up toward the center, creating the petals of the flower. In the center of the flower, attach a second and third pipe cleaner. These should be shorter than the pipe cleaner used to make the flower stem. One pipe cleaner will represent the stamen and the other will serve as the pistil. To make the anthers of the stamen, curl the ends of the pipe cleaner. To make the pistil twist the two ends of the third pipe cleaner together to represent the style. Next fold the ends of the style over to represent the stigma. Lightly dust the anthers with baby powder to represent pollen.
33 To construct the bees Students need to select one material for building their bee. They can choose from the plain printed cotton, felt, or cotton balls. Different materials will be used to demonstrate which material is best for collecting pollen. Remember plain fabric represents no hair, felted fabric represents few hairs, and the cotton balls represent many hairs. Before students start making their bee, explain to the class that each bee must have the following: a. A head, a thorax and an abdomen b. 6 legs c. Two antennae d. A straw attached somewhere to the bee as a handle. When students are finished building both their flower and bee, it should look like the picture below. As a Class When students are finished building their bees, divide the class into two groups. Group one represents the flowers. Group two represents the bees. Using the straw handle of the bee, have the bee group simulate the bee landing on the baby powder-dusted flowers. Next have the students in the bee group move to the stigma of another flower to demonstrate pollen transfer. Students need to assess the amount of pollen transferred both to the bee from the first flower, and then from the bee to the second flower.
34 Students need to determine which bee material collected the most pollen from the flower. Have the students record their observations. Students should switch roles and perform the simulations again using the different bees and different flowers. Have students record their observations from the second round of simulations. Extension Questions Following both rounds of simulations, discuss the following questions as a class. 1. Are bees attracted to all flowers, or are bees attracted to a specific shape, color, or fragrance? 2. Which part of the flower is responsible for pollen production? What part of the plant did the bee need to touch to collect the pollen? Is this the male or female reproductive part of the flower? 2. Which material collected the least amount of pollen from the flower? 3. Which material transferred the most pollen from the bee to the second flower? 4. What part of the bee is best for collecting and transferring pollen?
35 Lesson 5 Bee Collections Description This lesson requires access to an entomologist who can assist with collection of bees and provide a dichotomous key for identification of local bees. An alternative is to complete the lesson without bee identification. In this activity students will set up traps used by bee researchers to collect bees for a bee collection. Students will work with group members to identify the bees they collect. During the identification students will learn which bees are native to the area and which bees are introduced. This will help students think critically about the impact non-native plant species have on the local populations of native bees. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will collect bees that will serve as a record of the local population Students will work together to identify the bees using a dichotomous key Students will explore the impact non-native plant species have on local bee populations Students will understand why bees are important to biodiversity and agriculture Students will compare bees to other pollinators Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Sciences Diversity and Interdependence Identify how animals gather and store food, defend themselves, and find shelter. Benchmark 3 Identify populations of organisms within an ecosystem by the function that they serve. Identify and describe the factors that influence or change the balance of populations in their environment. Subject: Life Science Organisms Describe the characteristics, structure and functions of organisms. Benchmark 2 Group or classify organisms based on a variety of characteristics
36 Classify a variety of living things into groups using various characteristics. Time Estimate Three 50 minute class periods Materials Bee traps (call Sujaya Rao at for traps) Rebar posts Post hammer Twine/wire Insect pins Insect pinning block (small wooden block) Identification labels Insect display boxes Dichotomous key of local bees Worksheets Day 3 - Bee identification labels Vocabulary Native: a species that occurs naturally in an area or that has existed for many years in an area. Non-native: species that are introduced to a new area where they did not previously exist. Background Information Students need to know how to use a dichotomous key to identify plant and animal specimens. They should also have some background knowledge about the impacts on non-native species on native species. Lesson Plan Day 1 Setting up the bee traps Day 2 Collecting the bees Day 3 Identifying the bees
37 Extensions/Resources University of Minnesota Extension Collecting and preserving insects Welcome to our bee page a site created by students that is all about bees Extensive bee links, lessons, and websites
38 Bee Collections Day 1 Setting Up the Traps Introduction Similar to flowers, there are different types of bees that are native to specific parts of the world. Some bees are highly specific to the types of plants that they pollinate; therefore, they Note: Italicized words are potential script for the teacher. have an impact on how successful plants are at surviving and reproducing in different areas. By making a collection of the local pollinators it is possible to understand how bees interact with plants. This can help botanists and entomologists understand why certain plant communities exist in a specific part of the world and not somewhere else. Many botanists and entomologists want to find out if we have a native plant and a native bee that have a relationship, how is that changed when a non-native plant invades the area? Does the absence of native plants mean that there are also no native bees? These are some of the questions we can start to answer when we know what kinds of plants and bees we have in our area. In this activity we will use very special traps that are used at Oregon State University for research on bees in Oregon. (Showing the traps and explaining the features and attributes of these traps would be helpful here). To capture the bees we will place the traps in specific areas, the traps will be left out for 2 days. When the traps are collected, they will be put into the freezer to safely kill the bees without having to remove the bees and risking bee stings. After we remove our bees from the freezer we will mount the bees on pins, with small tags for identification (show an example, or several examples). Once the bees are correctly mounted we will use dichotomous key to identify our bee specimens. Prior to class have all the materials ready in the field where bees will be collected. For efficiency, teachers and volunteers should pound the rebar stakes into the ground. Pound rebar poles into the ground along lined pathways or fence lines; bees tend to follow such landmarks as they collect pollen. Procedures: Divide class into groups of five to six students. Each group will set up a bee trap. Students need to attach the traps to rebar poles with twine or wire, making sure the trap is secure and will not fall in windy or rainy conditions.
39 Demonstrate this procedure for the class. The trap should look similar to the photo below. Place a note that the traps belong to the school and should not be removed.
40 Bee Collections Day 2 Collecting the Bees Introduction Today you will collect the bees from your bee traps. Once we collect our specimens we will place them in the freezer. This is a humane way of killing the bees and it helps us avoid getting stung. The bees need to remain in the freezer for 24 hours. Tomorrow we will remove our bees from the freezer and begin identifying them for our collections. Procedures: Have students form their original bee collecting groups. At the bee-collecting site, demonstrate how to collect their bees as you are giving the directions. First, gently unscrew the bottom of the trap. Knock the captured bees into the bottom of the jar to prevent escape. It is a good idea for students to work cooperatively in teams during this step. Quickly cover the top of the jar with a lid, or cellophane secured with a rubber band. The jar should look like the picture below. Once all the students have safely collected their bees, return to the classroom. Groups need to label their jars with their names. Place the entire jar in the freezer. The jar will remain in the freezer for 24 hours.
41 Bee Collection Day 3 Indentifying the Bees Introduction This lesson requires access to an entomologist who can provide a dichotomous key for identification of local bees. An alternative is to complete the lesson without bee identification. Today you will remove your bees from the freezer and mount them on pins in your collection boxes. Working as a group, you will use a dichotomous key to identify your bees. While you are mounting the bees you need to remove pollen from the body or the legs. Place the pollen in a vial or envelope with the bee s scientific and common name. This sample will be frozen again and used in another activity (POLLEN SLIDES). When you are finished identifying your bees, you will write a short report summarizing how the plants collected in the flower collection lesson affect the bees that were collected in this lesson. Procedures Remove bees from the freezer. Teachers need to demonstrate proper mounting technique before students begin to pin their specimens. Place bees on the pinning block and gently steady the bee with your fingers, taking care not to crush the bee. Insert the pin into the right side of the thorax. Leave 3/8 inch of the pin above the body. This provides enough room to comfortably handle the bee without touching it. As a group, use the dichotomous keys to identify the bees collected.
42 Once the bees have been identified, have half the group make identification tags for each specimen. Using the bee labels, attach one label under each specimen. The other half of the group needs to remove one leg from each bee that belongs to a different genus (one leg as a representative of the genus) that is loaded with pollen or collect pollen from the body of the bee, and save in an envelope or vial labeled with the name of the bee. Arrange the bees by genus in display boxes. This will serve as a reference collection of local bees in your area. Freeze the bee leg samples for use in the POLLEN SLIDES activity. Report Guidelines: Students need to write a report that answers the following questions. Do the students think that the kind of plants that have been collected affect the kinds of bees that were collected? What happens when one kind of bee is taken to another place in the world? o European Honey Bee o Africanized Honey Bee o Displacement of native bees, much like displaced native plants Why does it matter what kind of bees we have? o What kinds of plants and animals depend on the bees? o Certain plants that require a certain kind of bee for pollination Agriculture o Certain animals that rely on bees for food Birds What about other insect and animals that pollinate? Where do they fit in? o Examples are small birds, like hummingbirds, butterflies, some types of flies, etc. o Bees are by far the most efficient pollinators.
43 Bee Collections Bee Labels Each bee should have one of these labels pinned underneath the specimen. Bee Name: Date Collected: Location Collected: Identified By: (Name of Student)
44 Lesson 6 Preparing Pollen Slides Description This lesson requires access to an institution that has a Scanning Electron Microscope. In this activity students will prepare slides using the pollen collections from the flower and bee collection lessons. These slides will be sent to a facility with a scanning electron microscope to make high-resolution images of the pollen. Students will use those images to analyze the types of pollen and what plants species different bee species pollinate. They will use that information to write a report discussing the impacts of local plant populations on native bee populations. The report is intended to help students connect all the information from the Bees and Flowers - Partners in Pollination lessons and activities. Student Outcomes/Objectives Students will create slides that are useable in a scanning electron microscope. Students will use the images generated from the SEM to analyze pollen samples Students will understand the relationship between local plant populations and the bees that pollinate those plants. Students will write a report summarizing the Bees and Flowers Partners in Pollination unit. Standards Level: 6 th 8 th Subject: Life Science Organisms Describe the characteristics, structure, and functions of organisms. Benchmark 2 Group or classify organisms based on a variety of characteristics. Classify a variety of living things into groups using various characteristics. Time Estimate Two 50-minute class period Materials Tweezers
45 Glass coverslips Double sided tape Small paintbrushes Pollen and bee leg samples from the Flower Collections and Bee Collections lessons Worksheets None Vocabulary Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM): A type of electron microscope that is capable of producing high-resolution images of a sample surface. Background Information Students should use the information from the previous lessons and activities in the Bees and Flowers - Partners in Nature unit to help them write their final report. Lesson Plan Day 1 Preparing the Slides Day 2 Analyzing the Slides Extensions/Resources Smithsonian Education Plants and Animals, partners in pollination ion/index.html Thinkquest Bees a look inside A website that simulates how bee populations are affected by weather
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