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Job Shadowing A Bee

Today began with the pulse/steady experiment at P2 in which pollen is collected and added to viable styles either on a daily basis (the steady part of the experiment) or every three days (yep – the pulse part of the experiment). The goal is to determine if a steady treatment of pollen to the styles versus the pulse treatment of pollen leads to greater seed set. We quickly found another reason to be impressed with bees and their pollen collecting ability. The bees typically had their pollen sacs quite full while we could barely muster up enough to use in our experiment.

The afternoon led to another planting expedition at West Central Area Schools (WCA) in Barrett, MN. The already 1700 or so Echinacea plants were united with The College of Wooster’s 300 plants. The twelve plots are filling up. The ultimate goal for these twelve plots is to determine how burning affects prairie, specifically if fall or spring burns are more beneficial to the prairie. Along with the Echinacea Team, WCA students will be able to use the plots for their own experiments along with assisting Stuart and The Echinacea Project for future years. A tremendous opportunity for our students to be able to be involved in a meaningful research experience while still in high school.

Erin, Ruth and Shea planted the basal plants in the WCA plots, making sure to get the correct plant in the correct location.

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