All the Buzz about Flowers
Characters: Sadie Sunflower, Beulah Bumblebee, Charlie Chickadee, Gertie Grass.
Prop: two yellow pompoms for bumblebee’s legs; sign saying, “Bees Welcome, Pollen Here.”
(Sunflower and Bumblebee enter together.)
Beulah Bumblebee (buzzing around sunflower, singing) Oh pollen, so nutritious, oh nectar, so sweet!
Charlie Chickadee Hi, Beulah Bumblebee, what’s that yellow stuff on your legs?
Bumblebee Oh, dear! Pollen always gets stuck in my fur. I’ll just comb it up and…(exit, return with pompoms on back legs) pack it onto my leg baskets.
Chickadee Wow, cool! You got all that pollen from the sunflower?
Bumblebee Oh yes, and sweet nectar too! I need to bring this load back to my nest, so I’d better buzzzzz off. Bye! (flies off; sunflower remains)
Chickadee She’s so fuzzy, no wonder the pollen sticks to her! (to flower) Now then, Sunflower! Have you got any seeds for me?
Sadie Sunflower Seeds? Why, no. I can’t make seeds without pollen, you know.
Chickadee But you’re covered with pollen.
Sunflower Yes, but that’s my pollen. I need pollen from another sunflower to make seeds. That’s what my whole show is for.
Chickadee What show?
Sunflower See how gorgeous my flowers are – even if I say so myself? It’s so the bees can see me.
Chickadee I can see you too. You’re hard to miss with those big, bright yellow petals.
Sunflower Yes, but it’s bumblebees I want to attract. They bring me pollen from other sunflowers.
Chickadee But that bumblebee took pollen away from you!
Sunflower Yes, she’ll use some, but she’ll also drop some off on other sunflowers. We all need the pollen to make our seeds.
Chickadee How does that work?
Sunflower Well, inside my flower are little ovules – something like eggs. Each one needs a tiny grain of pollen from another flower to become a seed.
Chickadee Mmm! I love your seeds!
Sunflower Then you can thank the bees. Bees bring me lots of pollen – so I can make lots of seeds!
Chickadee So what’s the nectar for?
Sunflower It’s for the bees too. When they come to drink it, they bring me pollen. I do a lot of advertising to get bees to visit me.
Chickadee I guess you do! Big yellow flowers, nectar, pollen.
Sunflower Some flowers have colors and lines that show the bees where to find the nectar, and some even make perfume.
Chickadee Do all flowers work so hard to attract pollinators?
Sunflower Well, not all flowers. Look at Gertie Grass over there. I don’t know how she attracts bees at all with that plain green flower. Tsk, tsk, tsk. (exits)
Chickadee Gee, I like grass seeds too. I hope she gets pollinated. (grass enters) Hi, Gertie Grass! Have any ripe seeds for me?
Gertie Grass Oh no, no seeds yet.
Chickadee I bet you need some pollen from another grass!
Grass Oh yes, that’s just what I need.
Chickadee But you’re not doing a good job of advertising. No bright petals, (sniffs) no perfume. Do you have any nectar?
Grass Oh no, no nectar.
Chickadee And I don’t see any pollen… Ah choo! What’s all this dust in the air?
Grass That’s my pollen. It’s so tiny and light, it just floats on the air.
Chickadee Well, at least you have lots of pollen, but you’ll never get any bees to come if you don’t advertise better. I’ve got an idea! Wait here! (exits)
Grass Well, I’m kind of rooted to this spot.
Chickadee Here, look! (returns with sign) See, it says, Bees Welcome, Pollen Here. This is sure to attract bees!
Grass Gee, thanks, Charlie. Only I don’t need bees. All I need is a breeze.
Chickadee A breeze? You mean wind?
Grass Sure. The wind brings me all the pollen I need. I don’t have to lift a blade.
Chickadee You don’t need to attract bees?!
Grass No, no bees needed. I just stand here catching pollen and sending mine off on the breeze.
Chickadee Well, I hope you catch lots of pollen. I’ll be back when you’re seedy!
Grass Oh yes. I’m sure you will. (exits, Sunflower enters)
Chickadee Hi, Sunflower, guess what?! Grasses don’t need insects. They’re wind-pollinated!
Sunflower Well, I never.
Chickadee But however you’re pollinated, you flowers make all those seeds so we birds can eat them. Thank you!
Sunflower Well, actually, we make seeds for the next generation of sunflowers. But you’re welcome to eat them, because you’re such a messy eater.
Chickadee What? I am not!
Sunflower Sure you are. You drop things, like last fall when you dropped the seed I grew out of, right here in the garden.
Chickadee Oh! That worked out, didn’t it?
Sunflower It did for me and Bumblebee.
Chickadee And for me too. Guess I’ll be back when your seeds are ripe – to help with planting next year’s crop!
Sunflower Okay, then I guess I’ll seed you later! So long, Charlie.