Pollinators such as bees, birds and bats affect 35 percent of the world's crop production.
In the United States, more than $15 billion dollars worth of crops are pollinated by bees each year. One-third of our food comes from plants that depend on pollination. In the United States, honey bees perform most of the insect pollination. Other pollinators are ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, flies, moths, and wasps.
As the world population grows, so does the pressure to produce more food. Pollination has never been more critical for food production and human livelihoods.
At the bottom of this page is a partial list of crops
dependent upon or benefited by insect pollination, according to S.E. McGregor, USDA.
What exactly is pollination?
Most flowering plant species only produce seeds if animal pollinators move pollen from the anthers to the stigmas of their flowers. Bees fly from blossom to blossom gathering pollen and nectar for their food. When they land on flowers to collect pollen, some of the pollen sticks to bees’ hairy bodies (as shown in the photo on this page) and then brushes off onto another flower.
While many plants are completely dependent on pollinators to produce fruits, vegetables and seeds, other plants can be pollinated by wind or water, or self-pollinated. For example, pine trees are wind-pollinated. Plants that are dependent on pollinators tend to have brightly-colored flowers, nectar or scent to attract pollinators.
Some of the Crops Dependent Upon or Benefited by Insect Pollination
bean (including soybean)