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In 2018, over 50,000 bees were discovered in a basement after living there for 25 years. Luckily, they were relocated to the Cincinnati Zoo, where they’ll be monitored and studied. (Via Mashable)

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The Process of Pollination

a passion flower butterfly spreading its wingsThe Process of Pollination

Pollination is the process by which pollen is transferred from the anther (male part) to the stigma (female part) of the plant, thereby enabling fertilization and reproduction. This takes place in the angiosperms, the flower-bearing plants. Pollination occurs when pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating animals such as butterflies, birds, bees, and bats. The transfer of pollen in and between flowers of the same species leads to fertilization, and successful seed and fruit production for plants. Pollination ensures that a plant will produce full-bodied fruit and a full set of viable seeds.

The Importance of Pollination to People

Zoo Camper groupThe Importance of Pollination to People

Worldwide, roughly 1,000 plants grown for food, beverages, fibers, spices, and medicines need to be pollinated by animals in order to produce the goods on which we depend. Foods and beverages produced with the help of pollinators include: apples, blueberries, chocolate, coffee, melons, peaches, potatoes, pumpkins, vanilla, almonds, and tequila. In the United States, pollination by honey bees, native bees, and other insects produces $40 billion worth of products annually.

Pollinator Decline

Pollinator Decline

Worldwide, there is disturbing evidence that pollinating animals have suffered from loss of habitat, chemical misuse, introduced and invasive plant and animal species, and diseases and parasites. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) in the U.S. has lost over 50% of its managed honeybee colonies over the past 10 years. The causes of colony collapse disorder are unclear, but pesticides, malnutrition, mites and habitat problems such as a lack of native flowers available all play a role in CCD.

Common Pollinators in the Tri-state

Common Pollinators in the Tri-state

Bees are undoubtedly the most abundant pollinators of flowering plants in our environment. While there are over 500 species of bees native to Ohio, a few species of larger bees can be seen regularly in the local garden, the honeybee, bumblebee, leaf-cutting bee and large mason bee. The service that bees and other pollinators provide allows nearly 70% of all flowering plants to reproduce; the fruits and seeds from insect pollinated plants account for over 30% of the foods and beverages that we consume.

Butterflies and moths are also commonly seen pollinators. These animals are beautiful to observe and make a valuable contribution to the ecosystem though they are less efficient than bees at moving pollen between plants. Highly perched on their long thin legs, they do not pick up much pollen on their bodies and lack specialized structures for collecting it.