July 31, 2014

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Protecting Pollinators

Insects pollinate a large percentage of food crops grown in the U.S. and all over the world.  Many different species of pollinators exist, but the insect best equipped for this job is the honey bee. Honey bees are exceptionally efficient at collecting and transferring pollen among the flowers of a particular crop.  In a practice known as “flower fidelity” groups of foraging bees will visit just one type of flower, collecting and storing pollen in baskets located on their legs.  As the bees fly from flower to flower, pollen particles are transformed between male and female parts triggering the plant’s reproduction cycle which results in a fruit or vegetable that may eventually find its way to a dinner table.