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If the Pollinators Disappeared?

Like all living things, plants need to reproduce or make more of themselves. But have you ever wondered why plants produce seeds and flowers and why they need insects, especially pollinators, to do so?

When the plant has enough energy, and the time of year is right, it creates a flower. Plants need to move material called pollen from one flower to another. However, they need the help of other living things.

The flower is excellent at atracting flying insects, such as bees. It contains nectar, which is a sugary liquid, and which animals can use as food.

The flower is often brightly coloured and has a strong scent, which makes it better at attracting insects. So pollinators love orange, yellow, pink, purple and red colours of flowers.

a bee sits on purple yellow flowers and pollinating
Early bee pollinating Wisteria flowers, © Agnes Romaniuk

When the insect enters the flower, some pollen might fall off into the flower. When pollen from one flower goes into another flower, the flower is pollinated. Once a flower has been pollinated, it has enough material to produce a seed. The seed is capable of growing into another plant. So, like all living things, plants need to reproduce, or make more of themselves.

What can be done to save insects which are useful for pollinating?

The easy way to protect our local pollinators is plant a nectar - rich flowers, wild range of plants and trees. Another way is let our gardens grow wild with leaving patches of land, so pollinators have great nesting and feeding sites. We can leave our gardens and green areas free of pesticides that kill pollinators and reduce their numbers, so fewer flowers are pollinated and produce new seeds, fruits and vegetables. There is much more ways of course, but I will write more about it in my next post.

Without pollinators, especially the availability of fresh produce would decline, and human nutrition would likely suffer.

Pollinators are critical for many of the crop products we use daily, other animals and plants, so they are our allies and thanks to them we have fruits, vegetables, flowers and trees. So, pollinators are essential in the global food supply.


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