Crow Bee with Pollen by Sam Droege, USGS
Pollinators such as bees fertilize flowers by transferring pollen from the male anthers of a flower to the female stigma of the same type of flower. We have highlighted bees before but with the importance they represent to agriculture and ecosystems, they deserve to be revisited. Although most of us are familiar with honeybees, wild type or native bees are even more effective pollinators. Other insects pollinate also. These include wasps, moths and butterflies; although they are not important crop pollinators. Like bees, they all maintain ecosystems by ensuring that certain flowering plants produce plentiful quantities of viable seed, not only to sustain that plant species but to provide food for wildlife like huckleberries that grizzly bear like so much. The crow bee pictured above visits sunflowers and black-eyed Susans. You can help bees and other pollinating insects in your own backyard by not applying insecticides to flowers. Also avoid using herbicides (weedkillers) containing glyphosphate that kill milkweed plants, the only plants upon which Monarch butterflies deposit their eggs and Monarch caterpillars feed.