Brock bee experts creating buzz on new children’s TV series

On Earth Day, children can tune in to TVO to learn all about bees from Brock researchers.

Biological Sciences Professor Miriam Richards and graduate student Lyllian Corbin will share their bee expertise during a segment on the new TVO series, Leo’s Pollinators, which premieres April 22 at a special time of 4:45 p.m. After the debut episode, The Big Carpenter Party, the show will move to its regular time slot: Thursdays at 6:30 p.m.

Miriam says her segment will focus on the “interesting and often amusing behaviour” of male carpenter bees competing for mates.

“In the first warm days of spring, males pop out of their nests and immediately start guarding the airspace around nest entrances, hoping to find receptive females as they fly in or out of their nest entrances,” she says. “The males chase and grapple with each other, and sometimes there are so many males whirling around, that it does look like a Big Carpenter Party.”

Through the eyes of Leo the Catfish, Leo’s Pollinators teaches children about insects and animals that spread pollen. Pollination is vital for plants to produce seeds, fruit and future plants.

“There are all sorts of unexpected and exciting pollinator species, including bats, beetles, hummingbirds, honey possums and even lemurs,” says the show’s website. “Our planet needs every pollinator to survive and thrive, and our hosts are on a quest to defend them all.”

For Richards, appearing on a children’s show was a “really fun opportunity” to do a different kind of community outreach focusing on young learners.

“Pollinators are a crucial component of our natural, urban and agricultural ecosystems, and it is important for people to understand why,” she says.

“But I think our carpenter bee episode adds something else – it’s about learning and appreciating how amazing and fun tiny, wild creatures can be. There’s a lot of joy to be experienced by simply observing, appreciating and preserving the little creatures around us.”

Leo’s Pollinators is produced by Fifth Ground Entertainment.

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