From crops to flowers, the majority of plants need pollination to repopulate and survive. It’s common to think that pollination is done by bees, but did you know that there are many other causes of pollination?
What Is Pollination?
Before moving forward with examples of who (or what) pollinates, it’s important to understand what pollination is exactly! In short, pollination is the process in which plants reproduce. It’s when pollen travels from the male part of the flower to the female part of the flower via the wind, rain, insects, or even just from themselves!
The relationship between insects and pollination is nothing new: Rather, this process has been around since the beginning of time. Simply, this is the circle of life—well, plant life anyway!
Here are some insects that help continue the circle of life through pollination:
#1: Bumble Bees
As aforementioned, bumble bees are the poster child of pollination. Their body, covered in pollen while they collect nectar, vibrates, which then launches the pollen onto other plants and flowers. However, not all of the pollen is shared with the rest of the garden; rather, it’s given to their larvae as food.
These insects—which many people may not even be familiar with—are responsible for visiting nearly three-quarters of the globe, pollinating crops along the way. Their fast speed and longevity are extremely beneficial for pollination, especially since they can travel upwards of 60 miles in one flight.
Most people are afraid of wasps because of their terrifying stinger, but did you know they are not as horrible as commonly thought? In fact, they even contribute to the pollination process. Just not as heavily because of their hair length: Their hair is significantly shorter than that of a bee, so pollen doesn’t cling to them as easily.
Moths often fly at night—that’s why people see them less frequently. They feed on paler, tubular flowers such as honeysuckle. Their long tongue is a perfect place for excess pollen to rest before transferring to other plants or flowers.
These beautiful insects do contribute to the pollination process, but perhaps not as much as you might think! They are considered to be “generalist pollinators,” which means they don’t have a specific relationship with certain plants: They just pollinate to whatever plant or flower that’s in their path of flight.
Spread the Love: Ways to Encourage Pollination
You, too, can help encourage pollination. You can grow pollinator-friendly plants and flowers in your garden, allow your garden to get a little wild (for example, let wildflowers grow before cutting them away), and even build homes for bees by keeping backyard trees.
These are just a few ways to prepare your garden to attract more pollinator insects. But beware that more pollen means more insects. However, also remember that not all bugs are bad bugs!
On the other hand, there are some bugs that can wreak havoc on your garden! If you feel uncomfortable with the number of bugs that are residing in your garden, your lawn, or even in your home, contact us. We are more than happy to come out and see what we can do!