Pollination of plants is mostly dependent on insects and animals. The efficiency of each pollination is dependent on the pollinating agents. These agents come in different forms and work differently.
Common pollinators include birds, bees, bats, wasps, flies, and other small mammals. These pollinators carry the pollen as they move from one flower to another.
Type of pollination that is most preferred for farming
In farming, pollination is vital for fruit production. That is why farmers prefer the most effective method of pollination.
As it is documented, flowering plants need pollination to produce. But each plant has a preferred method of pollination. The farmers also look out for the most effective pollination.
In farming, bee pollination is most preferred. This is because the bees pollinate the widest variety of plants.
Pollination by honey bees is easy to manage. They are also considered the best for fruit pollination. It is the most common type of pollination for the farmers.
List of insect pollinators
Insect pollinators are very popular, although many animals pollinate plants. The insects are likened to bulk pollination in farms. It is important to identify the different types of insect pollinators.
- Solitary Bees
Honeybees are among the best insect pollinators on farms. They are preferred in most cases because they are friendly to various plants. Honeybees have hairs that work best in collecting pollen.
They also have other specialized anatomical structures that contribute to better pollination. Honey bees are common for pollinating fruit plants.
- Bumble Bees
Bumble bees are most common for pollinating wildflowers. They are good at flying across cooler temperatures. This makes them fit for different weather.
The bumble bees have fuzzy bodies that necessitate buzz pollination. They vibrate the flowers using their buzz and dislodge the pollen.
- Butterflies & Moths
Butterflies and moths also play an important role in pollination. They are valuable for garden plants. Experts have noted that some plants produce nectar that attracts butterflies that are good for pollen transfer.
Other plants produce foul odors that attract the moths. In doing so, the moths carry the pollen from other plants and get pollinated.
Wasps are known as aggressive. But they also play a critical role in pollination. They are likened to being adept hunters. This makes them move faster from one flower to another. They, therefore, transfer the pollen quicker.
The wasps also have hairy bodies that assist in collecting pollen from the flowers. These are the pollen-trapping hairs.
They carry and drop pollen in their movement. But they are known to be limited because they cannot access a variety of plants.
The flies are also among a group of insects that play an important pollination role. There is a wide variety of flies. But some bad flies carry diseases, which makes them unfit for plant pollination.
The beneficial flies are the best in pollination. A variety of flowers easily attracts them. The beneficial flies assist in the pollination of peppers, mangoes, and apples.
They work efficiently because of their hairy bodies. They carry pollen efficiently, making them significant pollinators.
Beetles are diverse and have also been listed as among the best pollinators. They also come in different shapes, colors, and ecological roles.
These are listed as among the pollinators of prehistoric plants. They have served for many years as efficient pollinators.
Among the plants that beetles pollinate include magnolias and water lilies. But the beetles also come in different varieties. Some varieties are compared to harmful flies. They might carry diseases that affect the plants.
Most efficient insect pollinator
Among the most efficient insect pollinators are the honey bees. Experts have linked the bees to their busy lives. They move from one flower to another quickly. The bees also have a buzzing effect that detaches pollen.
Honey bees are the most known among farmers as pollinators. They are considered volunteers that work effortlessly to pollinate plants. The good thing is that the bees pollinate almost eighty percent of the flowering fruit plants.
A single bee colony pollinates millions of flowers in a day. They are known for their intense search for nectar from different flowers. They have an electrostatic force that easily attracts pollen to their hairs. They, therefore, help many plants to reproduce.
What flowers can bees not pollinate?
Honeybees are responsible for the pollination of many plants. They are attracted to many plants and thus contribute to pollination.
Experts believe that over 80 percent of all plants can be pollinated by bees. But there are those flowers that bees do not come close to or pollinate.
The marigolds are very unfriendly to the bees. They are listed as a “double flower.” This makes the plant very confusing to the bees.
Bees opt to select nectar from other flowery plants in summer and spring. They do not have to make much effort like in Marigold’s case.
The marigolds also produce a foul smell that deters the bees. The strong fragrance has also been known to keep off other insects. Therefore, the bees do not pollinate the marigold as efficiently as other plants.
Some Geraniums do not attract bees. They are mostly known to attract other insects, such as the moths. The dark-red flower varieties are not attractive to the bees. The color discourages bees from browsing through the flowers.
The Geraniums also produce a strong smell that keeps off the bees. The bees prefer finding nectar from other enticing flowers.
The feverfew has white-petaled daisy-like flowers. The color and the shape are not attractive to the bees. They also produce a bad smell that is not pleasant to the bees. The bees also avoid the feverfew because of their potent aromatic oil.
- Red Lilies
The Red Lilies have dark-red colored flowers. This color is also not attractive to the bees. The way the red lily spreads its flower petals is a put-off for the bees.
The petals look like a large spider predator. They are, therefore, unlikely to attract the bees. The limited browsing by the bees also means that the plant has a lower chance of being pollinated.
- Cardinal Flower
The Cardinal Flower is also on the list of plants not pollinated by bees. The plant has elegant, vertical heads. The flowers are not easily accessed.
This is because of the deep shape that triggers warming for insects. The bees can barely get in the flower. They are therefore avoided whenever possible.
List of animal pollinators
Besides insects, other animals pollinate plants. These animals also move from one flower to another, like insects. They have special features in the bodies that carry the pollen.
They are also animals that frequent a variety of plants in search of nectar. Two prominent examples qualify for this category.
- Honey Possums
The honey possum is a popular pollinator. They are known for pollinating the banksia and eucalyptus flowers. The honey possum grabs pollen by grasping it on the feet. It also has a prehensile tail that carries pollen from flowery plants.
By hanging on the tree branches, the possums can reach more flowers. They also use their long tongue to reach out for nectar. It is among the most successful tropical mammal in pollinating fruit trees.
There are also a group of reptiles that do well in pollinating plants. Among these reptiles include the lizards and geckos. These reptiles are well structured to move across the tree branches. They are also prey to flower nectars in many trees.
The reptiles may not be the main carriers of the pollen. But they dislodge the pollen and release it for pollination. The commonly pollinated plants by reptiles include the leguminous mulungu tree.
The reptiles forage nectar, and some pollen sticks on their scales. They carry the pollen that can be deposited in other potential flowers ready for pollination.
What animal is the largest pollinator?
The black and white ruffed lemurs have been identified as the largest pollinator. They are animals mostly found on the island of Madagascar. They are considered fast travelers across the palm trees.
The ruffed lemurs have long snouts and tongues. They use them to reach the deepest part of the flowers for nectar.
This leads to the easy collection of pollen on their fur. The pollen is then transported to other flowers with ease. They have the label of the world’s largest pollinator.