Syensaya 2014: Bee aware! UPLB IBS joins annual Syensaya fair

by Mikail Y. Mauleon

The annual Syensaya science fair formally opened on September 10 in the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) campus with the theme “Los Banos Science Community: Supporting the nation in meeting global challenges.” Fanfare and festivities kicked off the opening ceremony with UPLB officials welcoming the participating organizations and guests.

One participating organization was the Institute of Biological Sciences (IBS) of UPLB. The IBS entry was the “The Bee Program” which showcased bee products in three different parts of the exhibit.

The first section of the booth showcased the actual bees that produce honey. European honey bees and stingless bees were brought for exhibit in their respective hives. The IBS staff explained the honey extraction process to interested guests using the laboratory equipment for extracting the honey.

The second section featured a simulation of how worker bees collect honey from the nectarines. The process was demonstrated through a game wherein participants collected water, which symbolized the nectar, using a syringe and placed the liquid into the honey cells within one minute. According to the IBS staff, the game simulated only a fraction of the actual work that bees go through.

Syensaya

"Worker bees" for the day. Guests at the IBS booth try out the game simulating the honey-collection process from the nectarines to the honey cells. (Photo by MY Mauleon)

The third section of the booth focused on pollination, which was also explained through a game. This simulation entailed participants transferring the gold-colored balls, representing the pollen, from the female flower to the male flower. This was done in order to simulate the process of pollination and explain its importance.

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