Why do bees like pollen?

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Bees visit flowers to collect nectar and pollen which they use to make honey as a food. As bees fly around from plant to plant they pick up and drop off pollen between the flowers. This is a really important job in nature because moving pollen between flowers helps plants to reproduce (make new plants) through a process called pollination. If bees didn’t do this, then certain types of plants wouldn’t be able to make seeds.

So let’s find out more about how the lifecycles of bees and flowers work together…

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Should we squish harlequin ladybirds?

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Ladybirds (or ladybugs) are a kind of beetle that can often be found in fields, hedges and gardens during the warmer months of the year. Ladybirds can be red, orange or yellow and they have small black spots on their wing covers. There are lots of different species of ladybirds but the most common type found in Britain is the seven-spotted ladybird, which has red wing covers with seven black spots.

Many gardeners are pleased to see ladybirds because they eat aphids (tiny green insects that munch on plants). But you might have heard about the arrival of a new species – the harlequin ladybird – which is causing a spot of bother. So, let’s find out more about why the harlequins are seen as trouble-makers…

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How do astronauts do their hair (and go to the loo) in space?

Moon Day 12
Moon Day 12

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what it would be like to travel into space? Nearly 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the Moon and there are astronauts in space right now, living and working on the International Space Station.

A few weeks ago, my 2-year-old asked me to give her ‘astronaut hair’ for pre-school. I just swizzled her hair up into a pair of twisty buns (a bit like Topsy’s hair in Topsy and Tim) but I spent the rest of the day wondering, how do astronauts wash and comb their hair in space?

So, let’s find out more about life on the International Space Station…

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Is it a bee?

Only day of summer-14

It’s summer time here in the UK and the weather has been getting warmer and sunnier. There are lots of insects buzzing around the garden and some of them have even flown into the house. My 2-year-old thinks they are all bees but most of them are actually flies. But there are lots of different species of yellow and black stripy buzzing things around at this time of year, so how can you tell them apart?

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If there were no trees, would there still be enough oxygen for us to breathe?

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Air is mostly made up of a gas called nitrogen. But about one-fifth of the air (21%) is oxygen – the gas our bodies use when we breathe.

All living things need oxygen in order to stay alive but plants, algae and a group of bacteria called cyanobacteria, can also make oxygen. These plants, algae and cyanobacteria make more oxygen than they use and the extra oxygen goes back into the air. So, the oxygen is sort-of recycled, rather than used up.

Plants like trees use their leaves to make oxygen. But what if there were no trees left on Earth – would there still be enough oxygen in the air for us to breathe?

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