Happy National Pollinator Week!

Danny Perez CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

From June 18 to June 24 we celebrate the pollinators that make most of our food possible.

This week, take a moment to make and share your observations with scientists. Our editors selected five projects in need of your help. More about pollinators from Penn State’s website:

 

Pollinators include bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, some birds and some bats. They move pollen from male structures (anthers) of flowers to the female structure (stigma) of the same plant species. Movement of pollen (analogous to sperm) to a flower’s stigma results in fertilization of the flower’s eggs. An adequately fertilized flower will produce seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds, ensuring that a new generation of plants can be grown.

Pollination is mutually beneficial to plants and to pollinators. Sugary nectar provides pollinators with carbohydrates while pollen offers proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals, and necessary phytochemicals.

So let’s go help some pollinators this week!

Cheers!
The SciStarter Team

Have you ever wondered what species of bumble bees live in your neighborhood? Start your own virtual bumble bee collection by sharing photos of bees and experts will help you identify them! You may be the person that locates a new population of a rare bumble bee species!

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Sit back, relax and watch a sunflower for a least five minutes to see who visits. This will help identify where pollinators are visiting sunflowers and provide information on how a decline in the bee population can affect gardens.

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Did you know that bees are out collecting pollen, even in the fall? Taking pictures of bees and the flowers they’re collecting nectar from or pollinating can help researchers better understand bee behavior.

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Many species of bees make their homes underground, right beneath our feet! But we don’t know a lot about these particular bees or where they live. Help researchers create a map of where they are as a first step towards studying the germs (pathogens) underground dwelling bees carry.

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What kind of water do bees prefer? What kind of water makes for the best honey production? By taking pictures of bees visiting water you can help answer these and other questions about bees, water, and honey.

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Discover more citizen science on the SciStarter calendar. Did you know your SciStarter dashboard helps you track your contributions to projects? Complete your profile to access free tools. Want even more citizen science? Check out SciStarter’s Project Finder! With 1100+ citizen science projects spanning every field of research, task and age group, there’s something for everyone!

Categories: Citizen Science, Ecology & Environment, Featured Projects, Insects, Newsletter

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About the Author

Lea Shell

Lea Shell is the Digital Learning Specialist at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. With a background in entomology and education, she has spent the past five years working in the world of citizen science, public engagement and science communication at North Carolina State University to help bring citizen science to the classroom.