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Who pollinates the daffodils?

This question has popped up several times recently, probably because daffodils are in bloom this time of year. Based on the fact that daffodils have large showy flowers, I assume that sometime in the distant past daffodils were pollinated by insects—probably bees. But like most flowers that have been highly manipulated by plant breeders, daffodils […] Read more

Wednesday word file: pollination saturation

Pollination saturation is the practice of flooding a crop with an overly-large number of honey bee colonies in order to assure adequate pollination. The practice is used where the crop to be pollinated is either not a honey bee favorite, or when it happens to be in bloom at the same time that other nearby […] Read more

Plant pollination yields seeds, the key to agriculture

Pollination is necessary for the sexual reproduction of flowering plants. Sexual reproduction provides a means of mixing the genetic material of individuals so that the next generation has variability—or slight variations—in its genetic makeup. These slight differences are what allow living things to adapt to changes in their environment over time. Plants can reproduce by […] Read more

A reader delves into the one-third question

A while back I wrote Bees pollinate one-third of what? Do we really know? In that post I questioned the frequently repeated statement that “bees pollinate one-third of the human food supply” because I could never discover who calculated this number or how it was calculated. I wanted to know if it was one-third by […] Read more