A week of June each year is designated as “National Pollinator Week” to celebrate pollinators and educate the public on how we can protect pollinators. Pollinator week was initiated and is managed by Pollinator Partnership. For more information, visit pollinator.org.

What is pollination?

Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the anther of a flower to the stigma of the same or a different flower to enable fertilization and thus produce seeds. Pollination can occur by wind, water, or by pollinators.

Why is pollination important?

Pollination is vital in the life cycle of flowering plants (angiosperms) as it allows for (sexual) reproduction of that plant. The existence of millions of plant species depends on pollination, and the assistance of pollinators!

Who are pollinators?

Bees, wasps, butterflies, beetles, flies, other insects, birds, bats, mammals, reptiles. Most pollinators are insects (flies, beetles, wasps, ants, butterflies, moths, and bees). A much smaller portion of pollinators (about 0.5 percent) are vertebrates, such as birds, bats, small mammals, and even some reptiles, such as lizards, geckos, and skinks.

Why are pollinators important to plants?

The pollen of some plants is too heavy to be moved by wind. About 75% of flowering plant species need the help of pollinators to move pollen.

How do we benefit from pollinators?

Besides the ecological services that plants play for our environment (oxygen production, carbon dioxide sequestration, water filtration, aesthetic beauty, etc.), it is estimated that 1/3 of all foods and beverages we consume is attributed to pollinators. Besides food and beverages, many plants grown for fiber, spices, and medicine also rely on pollinators.

Stay tuned for daily posts this week about the different types of pollinators and how we can help them thrive!