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  • Writer's pictureClarke Wallace

THE WILD SIDE-PART 4



We wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for pollinators. We owe our lives to these little creatures such as wasps, flies, moths, bees – even beetles. What exactly is pollination?

Let me quote from a small guidebook published in several volumes by the David Suzuki Foundation that deals with such things. ‘Cross-pollination occurs when wind or animals move pollen grains between two flowers.’ In a nutshell, no pun intended, it allows plants to reproduce.

I’ll throw in a definition of pollen: a substance produced by the anthers of seed-bearing plants consisting of fine grains containing the male gametes. Hmm.

Close to 90 percent of flowering plants rely on animal pollinators for fertilization. Some 1.2 billion dollars worth of horticultural produce depends on insects for pollination. David Suzuki also tells us that 200,000 species in this country alone act as pollinators.

‘Without such visits to apples, cherries, blueberries, melons, pears pumpkins raspberries, tomatoes along with other fruiting plants. Here’s something worth noting. Farmers often put colonies of bees in orchards to make sure this happens.

Author’s comment: We should not forget the proud monarch butterflies are pollinators as well. Here’s something worth noting: the caterpillars of the monarch butterfly eat milkweed leaves to stay healthy. They fly south in the fall to Mexico, gliding most of the way because flying takes up a lot of energy.

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