We are dependent upon pollinators – but just who are these amazing creatures? While birds, bats and small mammals pollinate some plants, insects make up the largest group of pollinators. In New York State, our primary pollinators are insects like bees, flies, wasps, beetles, butterflies and moths.
Pollination is typically a mutually beneficial process. The plant pollen is delivered to the stigma, fertilizing the egg. The pollinator, in turn, receives some form of nutrition. Some plants are pollinated by lots of species (generalists), and some depend only on a single species or genus for pollination (specialists).
The Xerces Society provides a great overview of the six main groups of insect pollinators – solitary bees, bumble bees, butterflies & moths, wasps, flies, and beetles. Be sure to read our post Meet the Bumblebees.