Pollinators–animals who help fertilize plants–are crucial to the ecosystem. Without them, many popular foods and plants wouldn't grow! Here are five pollinators who keep our stomachs full and our flowers blooming.
Honeybees are some of the most well-known pollinators. Without them, we wouldn’t just be missing honey—we would also have less apples, blueberries, cucumbers and many other foods! Almond trees are the only plant completely dependent on honeybees for pollination.
Butterflies make our world beautiful with their colorful wings and the flowers they pollinate. Even though they can't carry as much pollen as bees, butterflies can travel farther and reach a wider range of plants. They are especially fond of wildflowers because of their bright colors.
Birds have adapted over time to become effective pollinators. Some bird species, such as hummingbirds, have long beaks that help them reach nectar and pollen. Like butterflies, birds pollinate brightly-colored wildflowers.
Bats are responsible for pollinating plants that bloom at night. These nocturnal creatures help hundreds of plants grow, such as mangos, guavas and wild bananas. Bats also perform a natural pesticide function—they eat bugs that can harm crops.
Beetles are thought to be some of the first pollinators because they have been around much longer than bees. Today, they are responsible for pollinating 88 percent of the world's plants! Beetles prefer to pollinate very fragrant flowers that have pollen that is easy to reach.
Learn how you can help pollinators in your own backyard!