Life Science: Brassica & Butterfly System
To Bee or Not to Bee
Fast Plants are pollinated by many insects, including Pieris rapae and bees. What is the role of pollination in a plant life cycle? What happens if flowers aren’t pollinated? Try this with the plants being used in the Brassica & Butterfly system life cycle activity to find out!
- Just before flowers begin to open (about day 12), use small squares of plastic wrap and twist ties to loosely enclose 3 – 4 groups of flowers on different Brassica plants. Do not disturb these flowers any further.
- Using your Bee Stick, transfer pollen gently from flowers on one plant to flowers on another. Do this with as many flowers as you can.
- Continue to observe each plant until the end of its life cycle (about day 40).
- Describe what you see in both groups of flowers, and make a sampling of sketches as you do.
- What is the role of a flower in a plant life cycle?
- What parts of the flower are most important to completing the life cycle? Make a sketch of these parts and their relationship to one another.
- Describe specifically what you did to pollinate the flowers.
- Describe what happens to the flowers after you pollinate.
- What forms from the flowers?
- Make a sketch to compare the differences between what happens to flowers that were pollinated and those that were not.
- What can you conclude about the importance of insects, like bees, to the pollination of Fast Plants?
- In the absence of insects, what else might help ensure pollination?
SHARE YOUR RESULTS: To Bee or Not to Bee
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