Truth be told: I’m a huge fan of apocalyptic or dystopian fiction. Or, a fancier term, ‘speculative fiction’. Meaning the ‘what ifs’ in life; what if there was a pandemic, a nuclear explosion, or some cataclysmic event that creates a VERY challenging world for those left behind.
I’m no writer, but if I was, I think an interesting topic that could jump start one of these novels would be the elimination of pollinators from our natural world. Oh, wait. That is already happening. Let’s consider the bees. We, and I’m including myself in this collection, are terrible for bees. We’ve caused pollution, we’ve destroyed a lot of their habitat and the use of certain pesticides have threatened their existence. There is also the issue of a parasitic mite that is a huge contributor to their decline.
Bees. Did I mention that we can’t live without them?
So, back to the basics of Earth Science. Or, Sex Ed depending on what school district you grew up in. Pollination is basically the transfer of pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of another flower. When this process is successful, you have fertilization. Basically, a seed develops that produces a fruit and we eat. A very simple act that guarantees the continuation of the planet. Flies & other insects also pollinate plants, although bees are the most important.
Bees are the critical link in our food chain – they are the most prolific pollinator in the insect world. More than 30% of our food crops depend on pollination by bees to produces fruits and seeds. Additionally, 70% of all the food we eat benefit from pollination.
Pollination is a very simple process but a very important one; it is the process by which pollen is transferred from the male part of the flower (anther) to the female part of the flower (stigma).
Remove one of the key players, bees (the pollinator), and we are in a heap of trouble. 80% of all flowering plants rely on pollination for survival. That’s a lot of food we’d be missing on the table.
Help Save the Bees
As gardeners, as environmentalists or conservationists or just people who care, we really need to help the bees. I’m not sure where the folks at the top of the food chain are heading when it comes to our natural world, so for the here and now, I’m doing all I can to protect and conserve my little patch of home. But, since I do have A LOT of plants that attract and support pollinators, I’m asking my friends to join me in providing support in their gardens too!
More Photos of Our Pollinator Friends, Bees