A pollinator transports pollen from the stamen (male part) of the flower of a plant to the stigma (female part) of the original or another flower. Moving the pollen is necessary to fertilise the plant so that it can produce fruit, seeds and new plants. While the pollen of some plants gets carried by water or the wind, many plants that are not self-pollinating rely on insects and animals to transport their pollen.
Pollinators visit flowers searching for food, materials to build nests, shelter and mates. Many species of bees purposefully collect pollen and nectar for energy, nutrients and protein. The nectar is produced by the glands of flowers as a reward for hard-working pollinators. Other species, like bats, birds and rodents, carry pollen unintentionally after it sticks to their bodies while they are feeding on nectar or otherwise coming in contact with a flower. About 35 percent of the world’s food crops depend on animal pollinators to produce the fruits, nuts, vegetables, seeds and even coffee we love.
More than 3,500 native bee species ensure crop yields, but there are many more pollinators out there. It is estimated that more than 200,000 species help pollinate the plants that make up the world’s crops. More than 80 percent of all flowering plants on Earth are pollinated by insects and other animal pollinators. That includes 180,000 plant species and around 1,400 food crops.
Plants are dependent on pollinators, and all organisms on Earth are dependent on plants. Plants provide oxygen, clean the air and stabilise the soil, which prevents too much runoff, controls flooding and protects the health of our waterways. Plants also provide food and shelter for wildlife.
Without a doubt, bees are the most important pollinators. We share our planet with at least two trillion bees, consisting of about 20,000 species. There are 81 million honey bee colonies and 100 million managed beehives. Each beehive contains about 10,000 to 60,000 bees. Where there are flowers, there are bees, and that goes for almost everywhere on the planet, except Antarctica. Temperate and arid regions are hotspots for bees. (Source: ecowatch.com)
We can help the bees and pollinators population in many ways: plant flowers (even wild flowers) in our garden or balcony ensuring a flowering in every season, eat local organic food, support local beekeepers buying their honey and bees products.
If you like to DIY you can even try our domestic beehive to keep bees at home, in your garden or your terrace or balcony: easy to assemble and to manage, it is safe for humans, pets and bees themselves, the best way to get your 0km honey!