Pollination and seed spreading

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Pollination

Lots of plants rely on insects like bees to reproduce.

To make a seed, a flower needs to be pollinated. This means that pollen from one flower needs to travel to another. Bees are very important for carrying the pollen between flowers.

Why are bees so important?

Bees help plants to reproduce and this is really important for all living things on our planet. To encourage bees to visit them, flowers have colourful petals and an attractive scent. Some flowers give the bees a sugary reward called nectar too.

Watch: The journey of a bee

Follow the journey of these bees as they pollinate flowers.

Flowers produce seeds

When pollen has moved from one flower to another, the flower that loses pollen will start to die. It no longer needs its colourful petals, scent or nectar. But before it dies, the flower will produce seeds.

We use many of these seeds, like corn and oats, to make foods like bread and breakfast cereal.

Some seeds are surrounded by fruit, such as apples, plums and pears which we grow and eat.

An apple cut in half to show the pips.

Spreading seeds

Plants spread their seeds in lots of different ways. This is called seed dispersal. Some seeds are transported by the wind and are shaped to float, glide or spin through the air.

Watch: How flowers spread their seeds

Discover the different ways plants spread their seeds.

How flowers spread their seeds

Plants growing near a river or the sea may use the flowing water to transport their seeds.

Coconuts are seeds spread by the sea.

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However a seed is spread, it will germinate and grow into a new plant when the conditions are right.

Activities

Test your knowledge of pollination and seed spreading with the activities below.

Activity 1: Order the pollination process

Activity 2: Bees and flowers quiz

Activity 3: Odd one out

Which of these plants, or products of plants, would be best at attracting bees? Explain your answer with three reasons.

There's more to learn...

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Bees flying around near flowers.

Pollination and seed spreading