Bees, Pollinators and Native Plants

by Lorraine on December 4, 2008

For the next several days, I will be sharing a very interesting and informative article written by Casy Burns who is a biologist with the USDA.   Casy came across my blog some time ago and he had  written a comment in it regarding one of my posts.

I asked him if he would be interested in sharing his knowledge about Native plants and other topics regarding the environment on my blog and he sent me the following article.

This is really a very interesting topic regarding bees and the importance that they serve to agriculture and the issues that are confronting their ability to thrive.   And Casey also discusses importance of preserving our native plant communities for the benefit of wildlife and the environment.

Casey Burns

Biologist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service

 

October 8, 2008

 

 

If people think of pollinators at all, most people usually think of honeybees.  In the last year, there have been many stories in the news about the precipitous nationwide decline of European honeybees.  Something is causing these non-native bees to die off in large numbers.  The cause is unknown, but the result is more predictable – the loss of the primary pollinator of many crops.  With the future of the honeybee uncertain, now is the time to consider the benefits of other pollinators, such as native bees, flies, moths, butterflies, beetles, and even birds and bats.

 

A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of a flower to accomplish fertilization.  Pollination is a necessary step in the sexual reproduction of flowering plants, resulting in the production of offspring that are genetically diverse.  The pollen and nectar from the flowers are used by bees as food, and the resulting pollination is a byproduct of the pollinator foraging. The plants provide food for the pollinators, and in turn they are assisted in their reproduction. You may have notices female bees with loads of pollen on their legs.

To be continued:

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