While we were out looking at ground squirrel holes, and ladybugs, C (age 8) also spotted an Apis mellifera on our Taraxacum officinale. Although, I believe she might have called it a honeybee on the dandelions. Or, maybe she was just screaming - BEE!!!!!
Anyway, she might not have been to happy to see the bee in its natural habitat, but all three younger children (ages 8-12) were pretty interested in the pictures of said bee collecting pollen on its corbicula, or pollen sacs (you can see the orange balls of pollen sticking out from the bee's back legs, in the picture above).
The pollen sacs, also sometimes called pollen baskets, are polished indentions, surrounded by hairs, in the bees' tibia, used to collect pollen for transport back to the hive.
We tried out our own "pollen" collection techniques with a Bee-licious, Scholastic, Bee Movie inspired snacktivity.
With plastic fork "bee legs", and banana "pollen baskets"...
...made sticky with honey instead of hairs...
...we collected "pollen" (candy sprinkles, nuts, coconut, and graham cracker crumbs) from one or two of our bowls (standing in for flowers).
After we had made (and eaten) a few of our bee-nana snacks, we began to notice, that we weren't just collecting "pollen", we were depositing it, as well...
...providing us a perfect segue from the activity of bees to the process of pollination.
It's great to be a homeschooler.