Plant Pollination – The Honey Compendium

Plant Pollination - Honey

An article designed to bring you the important reasons why we rely so heavily on plant pollination particular honey bee pollination and the consequences we would all experience if this natural phenomenon were to cease!

Plant pollination is characterized as male pollen being moved to the female, or stigma, part of a flower, which is lead to the flower or plant producing fruit.

Sometimes self-pollination takes place, which is when pollen is moved from the male anther to the stigma within the same plant. Cross-pollination occurs when pollen is transported from one plant to another.

When this occurs, the male pollen fertilizes the female part of the plant, which is followed by a maturation of seeds that produce fruit.

Other forms of pollination are caused by wind which in effect is accidental or natural pollination.

However, it is honey bee pollination that we are most dependent upon for this seriously important occurrence.

Though flowers and plants possess both male and female parts, many have complicated mechanisms that prevent self-fertilization from taking place.

For instance, in some flowers and plants the stigma ripens before the anthers of the plant are even shedding pollen.

In these cases, the flower or plant can only be fertilized from an older plant.

Conversely, in other plants just the opposite occurs, as the plant begins to shed pollen long before its stigma is ready to be fertilized.

Still, other plants have separate female and male plants, which mean that cross-pollination must take place in order for them to reproduce.

While this is all quite detailed and complicated, nature has simplified its approach to accomplishing the goal of plant pollination for plants that do not self-fertilize, by using birds and insects, such as the honey bee to pollinate plants and flowers instead.

Understanding this phenomenon leads to increasing awareness as to the importance of our honey bees.

Over one hundred different agricultural crops in America alone are pollinated by either wild honey bees or bees that are supplied by professional commercial beekeepers.

Without bee pollination contributions to the effort, the world’s agricultural food supply would be severely hampered. Missing Bees are having serious implications for us and could become much more serious!

It is estimated that at least one-third of America’s food supply owes its thanks to the pollination of insects like the honey bee.

Honey bee farming is a huge industry but extremely important. Imagine not being able to buy fresh fruit like a bowl of cherries! That to me does not bear thinking about.

This is only one of the reasons we depend so heavily on plant pollination. We would of course being missing out on eating the benefits of bee pollen which is highly regarded as a superfood.

The honey bee farmer is right to be very worried and concerned about their disappearance.

While other bee species contribute to quite a bit of the pollination efforts needed to sustain crops, years of using honey bees for plant pollination has revealed that honey bees are the easiest to maintain, control and transport.

They are also particularly credited with the ability to pollinate a broad variety of agricultural food crops.

In fact, honey bees are known to actively seek flowers that contain pollen since it is also stored and used in the hive as a protein source, which nourishes honey bee larvae.

Beekeeping enthusiasts will also use this source for aiding in the feeding of their honey bees during winter months when food supplies are short.

They make pollen patties from pollen they collect of which the honey bees themselves have bought back to their hives.

We too can benefit from this rich protein source.

Birds and bats are less interested in pollen and are only interested in the nectar that flowers provide, which makes them a less desirable worker for times when deliberate plant pollination is needed.

Without the efforts of the honey bee, it is almost certain that mass commercial crops could not be sustained.

Since humans tend to no longer grow their own food and rely, instead, on commercial crops to line their grocery store shelves, there is simply no better way to produce the amount of healthy crops needed to feed the planet without the plant pollination routines of the honey bee.

Have you ever considered growing your own fruit and vegetables? Even your own garden is lovely.

I’m sure you take great pleasure in looking at and sitting amongst the flowers that grow in your honeybee garden, mainly because of the efforts of bee pollination.

Why not consider having your own honey bee hive? They would have access to their own source of pollen and nectar, help your flowers grow and you could enjoy your own raw honey production.

There are in fact many people who are still unaware that if it were not for bee pollination our food supplies would seriously diminish. Fruit tree pollination is largely due to our honey bees efforts.

There would be no fruit trees, no pizzas, no ice-cream, and no meat even because their efforts ensure the crops needed to grow these plants and feed our animals continue to supply us all with the food we take for granted everyday.

Imagine if you can walking into a food store with almost empty shelves! How would you feed yourself or your family?

There is a world wide panic about the honey bee that appears to be disappearing because of a yet unidentified disease called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).

Scientists are actually working round the clock to find the reason and cure for this disease which threatens our very planet which in turn would cause dreadful implications for us all.

While many fear this tiny, powerful insect for the sting they are known to deliver when threatened, understanding them and their importance to our environment should bring about a new appreciation to all.

Never worry too much if you are in the path or see a bee swarm, they are purely going about their business of searching for new food sources.

They will only sting you if you deliberately frighten them. Stand still and let them pass after all their job is an important one, that of bee pollination………..just think (Fruit, Meat, Vegetable, Ice-cream ………..)

It is not just the efforts in pollination of food crops we should be thanking the honey bees for, without them there would be no honey.

Although there are many, in fact over 20,000 species of bees there are very few who actually make honey.

The humble bumble bee that we all see in our gardens does not make our honey. It is only the honey bee which is why it is named as so, who actually makes honey.

Without them and our food we would also be missing out on all the health benefits of honey their honey gives us, and the important medical benefits of honey of which even modern science once again recognizes and of course the joy of tasting the many kinds of honey there are.

All because of plant pollination. Makes you think doesn’t it!

Donna Morgan: Crank It is where inspiration, aspiration and solution converge to make things ‘happen’. Turn on your life or turn it around and see where it takes you!