Pollination Basics, Honey bees & Bumble Bees

Pollination Basics, Honey Bees & BumbleBees

 


Pollination by definition is the transfer of pollen from a stamen to an ovule.
Pollen is a mass of microspores which give rise to the male gametophyte of a
seed plant. In everyday language pollination is the process by which the male
component of a plant or flower is transferred to the female part resulting in a
seed. Pollen is eaten by various adult insects especially those belonging to
the orders Hymenoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera. Pollen forms an important
part of the larval food of solitary and social bees whose bodies have been well
adapted for pollen collection. (Free 1970) Honeybees and Bumblebees
possess special adaptation on the hind legs called backib for transporting
pollen back to the larva. So certain aforementioned orders of insects collect
pollen to feed the young. This collection performs an act which enables the
plant to reproduce as well. This phenomenon referred to as the co-evolution
of insects and flowering plants has been ongoing for millions of years. There
is an ongoing debate here in the Northeast regarding the efficiency of
bumblebees versus honeybees, regarding fruit crops such as blueberries and
cranberries. Scientists who have studied the mechanisms involved advocate
the bumblebee as the co-evolutionary partner for blueberries. However,
bumblebees exist in colonies of 30 to 50 individuals at best. It must be
remembered that blueberry and cranberry plants as they occur in the wild can
only be described as infrequent, which supports there co-evolution with
bumblebees