Pollination is the sexual reproductive process known as fertilization, that plants need to develop fruit and seeds. The pollen grains are the male part of the plant and need to be transfered from one flower to another. This is where pollinators come into play. They can be an assistant to pollination, where improved genetic transfer happens helping to increase plant diversity. In some cases, visits from pollinators are essential to produce seeds for the continuation of the species. Other plants may produce seed, but will produce smaller and lesser amounts. To attract pollinators, plants produce nectar or excess pollen that pollinators collect for either immediate or later use as their main food source.
This may all sound very scientific and unrelated to the daily lives of people, until we realize how much of the food we eat depends upon this process, about 1/3 of the food you eat depends upon pollination. Even then, many may wonder why they should care, after all, this process has gone on for millions of years without problems, right? What has changed? Why should you worry about this, isn't it someone else's problem? Here is what you should know. Many pollinators species (honey bees, bumblebees, butterflies, humming birds, moths, and flies) are in decline all around the world. The first well publicized indication of this was the Colony Collapse Disorder, which made world-wide headlines in 2006 when the populations of tens of thousands of honey bee colonies "disappeared" in the matter of months. This could mean a drastic change in this process called pollination. People and other animals depend upon pollination for their food, shelter, clothing, medicine and aesthetic needs, all provided by the process of pollination.