I’m still staying inside most of the time these days, but I can feel those cooler days coming!
So, let’s talk about the actual act of pollination – this is my XXX blog – LOL.
The Pollination process occurs when pollen grains from the male part of one flower (anther) are transferred to the female part (stigma) of another flower.
Because plants can’t move (DUH), most depend on outside factors to make it happen.
75% of plants require insects to move the pollen from flower to flower.
Pollination occurs by ACCIDENT! When the pollinator goes after the food (nectar) in the bloom, pollen sticks to their body. IF it then goes to the SAME kind of plant next, pollen will rub off in the bloom (while picking up other pollen) and pollination occurs. AMAZING!
Once pollinated, the bloom dies – and I always thought it was just age.
Scorpion Flies are the earliest pollinators, with fossils dating 165 million years ago. They pollinated ferns and pines (gymnosperms) long before any blooms had evolved.
The major groups of pollinating insects are Bees and wasps, flies, butterflies and moths, beetles.
All insect pollinators have the same life cycle steps – egg, larva, pupa, adult.
Overall, 90% of pollination occurs through native bees and 90% of those bees are solitary.
Because honey bees can be managed through the queen (social), they were imported to America in 1622 with the colonists. They are considered non-native, but are vitally important to money crops such as almonds. They are the only bee which produces honey.
And here we are to bees – the work horses of the pollinators. Next time I’ll introduce you to the dependable, quick, strong, and friendly types of bees we have in Florida. I’m sure you’ve seen most of them, but some are very tiny, so pictures will be posted!