How Do Bees Help In Pollination?

How Do Bees Help In Pollination?

Pollination is a simple yet crucial process. Pollination is necessary for life to exist on our planet. For millions of years, bees and other pollinators have thrived, ensuring food security and nutrition while preserving biodiversity and nurturing ecosystems for plants, humans, and bees.

Many of the micronutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oils we consume require pollinators to survive. Pollinators play an essential role in the production, yield, and quality of over 75% of the world’s crops that produce fruits and seeds for human use.

So How Are Pollination And Bees Related?

Pollination of crops such as apples, melons, berries, cherries, and even broccoli and almonds is handled by bee colonies. Pollen is a high-protein, high-fat food. Without pollination, we would be without a reliable food supply and the beauty of nature. It’s easy to overlook bees’ value, but imagine a world without our favorite sweet treat, other healthful foods, and, most importantly, flowers.

Bees have two stomachs, which is a lesser-known fact. One stomach is for feeding, while the other, dubbed the “honey stomach,” is for storing nectar obtained from flowers and transporting it back to the hive. When a bee lands on nectar, it collects and stores it in its honey stomach.

Pollen from the flower’s male reproductive organ clings to the hairs of the bee’s body when it collects pollen and nectar from flowers. Some pollen is rolled off onto the flower’s female reproductive organ when the bee visits the next blossom.

After landing on a flower, the bees insert their foot into a groove containing pollen sacs. When the bee is finished with one bloom and ready to go on to the next, it carries the sac away on its feet. The pollen sac falls off the bee when it lands on another bloom for pollen, and the pollen falls out of the sac. Thus, successfully pollinating the plant.

Sad Reality of Decreasing Pollination

Animal pollinators are significantly responsible for the variety of food available. However, pollination rates are reducing in several places, which is concerning. New-age agricultural techniques have impacted natural pollination.

They have altered farm areas which have become larger, focusing on a smaller number of crops and increasing pesticide use. The evidence that these factors are to blame for the possibly catastrophic fall in pollinator numbers is increasing day by day.

The drop is expected to influence the production and costs of vitamin-rich crops like fruits and vegetables, resulting in increasingly imbalanced diets and health issues, including malnutrition and non-communicable diseases.

Artificial Pollination

Animal pollination is an important regulating ecosystem service in nature. Pollinators must transport pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of flowering plant species for them to generate seeds. For successful pollination interactions, critical biological events such as insect appearance and blooming date must occur at the same time.

When it comes to crop pollination, time is crucial! The crop must not only be in blossom, but it must also be accessible to pollinators. Mangoes in tropical climates, as well as almonds and cherries in temperate climates, have phases of mass blossoming that last only a few days, necessitating a massive influx of pollinators. During crop flowering, alternate resources are sometimes required to provide pollination services completely.

Pollinators might be shipped into the crop area, or farmers could use paintbrushes containing pollen on each bloom to hand-pollinate. Agriculture’s long-term viability is dependent on the proper functioning of ecosystem services. Bees and forest beekeeping also contribute to the sustainability of forest ecosystems by providing pollination, which leads to increased tree regeneration and biodiversity protection. Bees and other pollinators are so critical to the environment, biodiversity protection, and a variety of other aspects of global sustainable development.

Maintaining and improving yields in horticulture crops during agricultural development is critical for smallholder farmers’ health, nutrition, food security, and income. The process of securing competent pollinators to ‘service’ crops is proving challenging to design, and there is a revived interest in assisting nature in providing pollination services by promoting wild pollinator practices.

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