Perfectly Passionate Pollinators
January 28, 2021
By Don Luepke.
The mission of every living being, including plants, is to reproduce, thereby creating offspring for the next generation. Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from the male portion (anther) of the flower of a plant to the female portion (stigma) enabling fertilization and the production of seeds. While some plants are self-pollinating, most require some form of “movement” by an outside source – a pollinator. These are the transporters of continuing life in the world of plants.
Many of the pollinators are the B “guys” - those beauties that begin with the second letter of the alphabet. Probably the first to come mind is the good ol' honeybee. But there are so many more that dwell in that BEautiful realm. There are birds and bats, all sorts of “bugs,” bees, beetles and butterflies. And we can extend the list to some marvelous M's: moths, midges, mammals (small ones) and oh my, even mosquitoes.
From information from the Pollinators Partnership (www.pollinator.org) we learn that between 75 and 95% of all flowering plants need help with pollination. Pollinators provide this wondrous service. To what? To over 180,000 different plant species and 1200 agricultural crops. Are we affected? Well, one third of every single bite of food that we eat is there because of the diligent work of those busy pollinators.
At least 130 fruit and vegetable crops – including some of your favorites – would not be present without our insect pollinators. Without them there would be no Apples, Blueberries, or Cherries (and that is just at the beginning of the alphabet). In addition there would be no – oh my! - no chocolate and no coffee!
And yes, in addition to the tasty and nutritious delicacies that pass by our lips, those perfectly passionate pollinators through their support of all sorts of plant life: cleanse the air, stabilize the terra firma, diminish the carbon influence, foster the sustainability of wildlife, and in general, advance healthy ecosystems within the Clear Lake community and throughout our world.