Podcasts, videos, posters and online games from CPR members
Materials for K-12 Classrooms

Pollinator ecology provides a charismatic and accessible system in which to explore multiple core subjects in biology, provide opportunities for learning authentic scientific practices, and engage in place-based learning. Pollinator ecology can be studied in rural, suburban and urban landscapes, as pollinators and the flowering plants they depend on for nutrition are abundant in a diversity of landscapes.

What are pollinators and why do we need them?

Pollinators are animals (primarily insect, but sometimes avian or mammalian) that fertilize plants, resulting in the formation of seeds and the fruit surrounding seeds. Humans and other animals rely on pollinators to produce nuts and fruits that are essential components of a healthy diet. Meanwhile, the majority of flowering plant species found world-wide require animal-mediated pollination to make the seeds that will become the next generation of plants.

Globally, pollinators are in decline

World-wide, pollinator populations are shrinking and several factors are contributing to this disturbing global trend.

Buzzkills: abiotic and biotic stressors of pollinators

Due to their important role in agriculture and well-documented, ongoing losses, a great deal of research has focused on characterizing and mitigating challenges to honey bee health. Using honey bees as a model species, this article summarizes biotic and abiotic stressors of pollinators including: exposure to parasites and pesticides, poor nutrition, habitat destruction and climate change.

What steps can I take to help the bees and other pollinators?

Habitat destruction along with chemical use are major contributors to ongoing declines in pollinator populations. You can help reverse this troubling trend by planting a pollinator garden and limiting chemical use on your property.

Educational opportunities and family events

Penn State and Centre County offer unique, hands-on opportunities to learn about pollinators and the fascinating lives of insects. See what’s happening in your neighborhood!

Organizations for invertebrate and pollinator conservation

In 2014, President Obama issued a memorandum to conserve pollinators. Learn more about pollinators and conservation programs from these organizations.

Bees, Bugs & Blooms – A pollinator trial

Project Goal: Evaluate native plant species and their cultivars for their attractiveness to pollinators and their suitability for homeowner and agricultural use.

Penn State STEM Pillars Curriculum

Here you will find seven STEM Pillars family workshop curricula designed for use in rural libraries and museums.

Bug of the Month

Bug of the Month is a student–run monthly post which highlights the diversity of insects found in Pennsylvania.