Why Is Pollination So Important?

Springtime is a fantastic time to teach children about plants and the importance of pollination! Many of us have a mild to extreme fear of bees, but learning about the important work they do can help ease those concerns, or at least make us a little more tolerant.

Did you know?

  • In North America, 75% of our food supply, and 90% of our plants in general, depend on pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
  • Although bees are the most important pollinators, there are many other animals that pollinate such as birds, bats, lemurs, and moths.
  • There are around 2,000 species of pollinating birds.
  • The use of pesticides may impact the population of pollinating species.
  • Most bees in North America don't make honey.

Read this article from the National Audubon Society for more information on why we need pollinating species and how to protect them.

How pollination works

Another interesting thing about pollinators is that they don't visit flowers for the purpose of pollination. This article describes how bees and other pollinators visit flowers for their sweet nectar. While they are collecting the nectar, these animals brush up against the pollen-covered anthers. When these animals move on to another flower, the pollen is transferred to that flower. This transfer of pollen from the stamen of one flower to the pistil of another (the definition of pollination) is what makes it possible for those flowers to produce seeds.