Take a look in your yard, and you might be surprised that you’re missing the very things that bees and other pollinators need to feed on to survive. Cathy Isom has some ways to bring back the honeybee population, starting with your landscape. That story’s ahead on This Land of Ours.
Why are Pollinators Important?
- Pollinators are nearly as important as sunlight, soil and water to the reproductive success of over 75% of the world’s flowering plants.
- They are crucial to the production of most fruits, nuts, and berries on which people and wildlife depend.
- Over 150 food crops in the United States depend on pollinators, including blueberries, apples, oranges, squash, tomatoes and almonds.
What is Pollination?
Pollination occurs when pollen grains from a flower’s male parts (anthers) are moved to the female part (stigma) of the same species. Once on the stigma, the pollen grain grows a tube that runs down the style to the ovary, where fertilization occurs, producing seeds.
Most plants depend on pollinators to move the pollen from one flower to the next, while others rely on wind or water to move pollen.
Plants produce nectar to attract pollinators. As the pollinator moves from flower to flower collecting nectar, they are also moving pollen from flower to flower. Certain fruits and seeds will not be produced if their flowers are not pollinated.
What You Can Do for Pollinators
Plant a garden using native flowering plants:
- Choose a variety of colors and shapes that will attract a variety of pollinators
- Choose plants that flower at different times providing nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season.
- Plant in clumps rather than single plants to better attract pollinators
For more information: http://pollinator.org/guides.htm
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