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Adding Value To The Business of Cropping

Pollinators in New Zealand

Learning Intentions:

    Students will be able to
  • appreciate the diversity of insects and birds involved in pollinating New Zealand plants
  • recognise and name some pollinators
  • make observations of their foraging behaviours.

Spot flowers that bees love

  1. Use the spotter guide below to identify New Zealand pollinators of flowers. To do this, find a place where there are lots of flowering plants. This could be in a garden, in a wasteland area, a mixed native tree shelterbelt, or the unkept margins of fields.
  2. Try to find as many examples of the pollinators as you can. How do you know that the animals you find are pollinators?
  3. Record what you find by ticking the boxes and recording your observations by writing about them, drawing, or taking photos.

Pollinators in New Zealand spotter pdf download (optimised for colour printing on A4).

Hints and tips

  • Best viewing of identification pictures is on-screen.
  • Print the spotter sheet on heavy weight paper. Laminate so students can tick the boxes with felt pen when they find pollinators. Erase with methylated spirits for re-use.
  • Students can share what they have found by showing others or taking photos. If insects are collected for close-up inspection, ensure they are released within an hour or so.
  • Students could record observations of: 1) what plants the pollinators are found on, and 2) what they are doing such as: the food they are collecting (nectar or pollen), their movements and other behaviours, and whether or not they store pollen on their bodies for transporting elsewhere.

Related resources

Bumble bee foraging

Garden creature spotter

Moving pollen flower to flower

Honey bee facts