Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fiber (such as cotton), and hay (alfalfa grown to feed livestock ) don’t self-pollinate. They depend, almost entirely, on bees for pollination
Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the male parts of a flower to the female parts of a flower of the same species, which results in fertilization of plant ovaries and the production of seeds. The main insect pollinators, by far, are bees. Many plants require this kind of pollen distribution, known as cross-pollination, to produce viable seeds. many flowers attract and also reward bees with nectar, a mixture of water and sugars produced by plants.
When a bee collects nectar and pollen from the flower of a plant, some pollen from the stamens—the male reproductive organ of the flower—sticks to the hairs of her body. When she visits the next flower, some of this pollen is rubbed off onto the stigma, or tip of the pistil—the female reproductive organ of the flower. When this happens, fertilization is possible, and a fruit, carrying seeds, can develop.
How greenhouse crops benefit from pollination
Simply having bees in your farm can have huge benefits to the productivity of the crop yield due to pollination. Possibility of renting stingless bees or buying your own beehives is one every farmer into commercial farming should at least consider.
Many beekeepers in US have arrangements with flower farms where they come to an agreement every flowering season that’s beneficial to all parties involved, bees included.
Many of the foods and crops we rely on need or, at the very least, benefit from bee pollination. Here’s a list of some of those crops.
- Brussels sprouts
- Sweet potatoes