Pollination is the process by which pollen from a plant's anther is transferred to another plant's stigma. This transferral fertilises the plant and the plant then goes on to reproduce (for example, produce seeds).

Insects are extremely important pollinators of plants. Many people think that it is only bees that perform pollination services but many different groups of insects help pollinate plants, from moths to beetles. Many plant species rely on the pollination services of insects to reproduce. Without insects many of these plants would not be able to reproduce. This is especially important when we consider the pollination of food crops. It is estimated that one third of food we eat is the result of pollination services performed by insects.

In the USA, for example, bees are driven around the country so that they can pollinate crops being grown on large areas of farmland.

Animals that help pollinate plants are called pollinators.

A photograph of a honey bee drinking nectar from a flower

A honey bee, covered in pollen, drinks nectar from a flower.

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