We often hear how important pollinators are to the environment - but do you know why?
Virtually all of the world's seed plants need to be pollinated by animals and can not reproduce without them, including 80% of the 1,400 types of crop plants grown around the world. Simply put: the human race along with all of earth's terrestrial ecosystems would not survive without these essential species.
The Great Pollinator Partnership poster has been reproduced as part of a cooperative effort of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators to our Nation’s future.
Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma. If pollination is a success it allows the plant to produce seeds, which ensures the next generation. Since plants are rooted in place, they require assistance from wind, water, or animals to move their pollen grains. For their part, pollinators visit flowers in search of food, mates, shelter, and nest-building materials. Examples of these animals include birds, bees, butterflies, moths, flies, bats, ants, beetles, and rodents.
Different plants are particularly inviting for certain types of pollinators, and provide ample pollen and nectar for their needs. Of all the pollinators, bees are the most efficient. In the United States alone, there are over 4,000 species of native bees. Make sure to consider them when choosing plants for your flower garden - new varieties and "double" hybrids are often selected for beauty for us to enjoy but do not provide adequate nectar or pollen for bees.