Pollinator Series- Insects galore

In this week’s pollinator lecture, our volunteers explored the world of insect pollination with the students at Malcom Bridge Elementary school. Most people are aware of our iconic bees and the pollination services they provide. However, the diversity of insect pollinators is staggering and students had the opportunity to learn about the differences between many insect groups and how they go about pollinating!

Graduate Student presents to Malcom Bridge students
To engage the class our speakers would present a question, let the students discuss it, and then take the eager answers!

Students learned about the multitude of functions an insect group can perform. For example, they learned about wasps which can act as pollinators, predators, and even parasitoids! The classroom was also surprised to learn that flies also act as pollinators and with over 120,000 species, they got to see a glimpse of the dazzling array of shapes, colors, and sizes they come in. The biggest surprise of the day for the class was that even mosquitos can be pollinators!

We had the students guess the amount of species for bees, wasps, and flies before this slide. The guesses were varied and many students were shocked by the final answers.

Overall, the students came away with some important lessons. They got to review the process of pollination, different pollination processes, new pollinator groups, and the importance of pollination services. Next time the students are outside, we hope they will be able to differentiate between insect pollinator groups! Stay tuned for more lessons from our ongoing pollinator series.

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