Pollinators: Not just bees and butterflies
Everyone is familiar with the importance of native bees and butterflies in plant pollination, but
beetles, moths, mosquitoes, ants and wasps also contribute to pollination.
Pollinators may be our planet's most ecologically and economically important group of animals.
Over 250,000 native wild plants depend on pollinators to reproduce and continue to exist.
They provide stability for every terrestrial ecosystem in the world, because wild flowering plants
depend on them
Non-bees pollinators perform about 25–50% of the total number of flower visits. Although bees were
more effective pollinators, they made fewer visits. These two factors compensate for each other,
resulting in pollination services rendered by non-bees that were similar to those provided by bees.
Virtually all of the world’s seed plants need to be pollinated. This is just as true for cone-bearing
plants, such as pine trees, as for the more colorful and familiar flowering plants. Pollen, looking
like insignificant yellow dust, bears a plant’s male sex cells and is a vital link in the reproductive cycle.
With Adequate Pollination Services
Plants maintain genetic diversity within a population
Flowering plants reproduce and they produce enough seeds for dispersal and propagation
Flowering plants produce adequate fruits to entice seed dispersers
It is an essential ecological survival function. Without pollinators, the human race and all
of earth’s terrestrial ecosystems would not survive. Of the 1,400 crop plants grown around
the world, almost 80% require pollination by animals.
Visits from bees and other pollinators also result in larger, more flavorful fruits and higher
crop yields. In the United States alone, pollination of agricultural crops is valued at $10 billion
annually. Globally, pollination services are likely worth more than $3 trillion.