Bees play a critical role in the life cycle of plants by pollinating them. Michigan State University explains that pollination occurs when pollen from the male part of the plant fertilizes the female part of the plant. Bees pollinate plants by landing on the flowers, picking up pollen and then transferring it to other plants of the same species while they collect nectar.
Bees start pollinating plants by landing on flowers. Flowers are made specifically to attract pollinators with bright colors, sweet aromas and petals that create a landing platform. Flowers even give bees nectar, which they use to make honey, as motivation to visit.
Once bees land on flowers, they pick up pollen with the hairs on their bodies. They also use electrostatic forces to keep the pollen grains sticking to their bodies. They then brush the pollen from their bodies into specialized sacks.
Because bees gather nectar and pollen from one species of plant at a time, pollen gets transferred from flower to flower. This cross-pollination allows male pollen to be carried to the female parts of flowers for reproduction. In some species cross-pollination is necessary for reproduction and the production of seeds.
Bees have a sense of smell that they use often in their daily activities. Bees actually rely heavily on their senses of smell for protection.Full Answer >
Bees prefer to live near wildflowers and will build their nests in old wood and in areas that are sheltered from the elements. They will stay clear of areas where insecticides are present. Because the natural habits favored by bees are becoming less abundant, some farmers and gardeners set up places that are hospitable to bees so to attract them to their property.Full Answer >
Humans rely on bees to pollinate one-sixth of the world's flowering plants, as well as about 400 different species of plants important in agriculture. In 2010, the pollinating services of bees helped to produce nearly $20 million in agriculture in the United States alone.Full Answer >
Bees feed on pollen, honey and a sugary liquid called nectar. All larvae eat royal jelly, a super-nutritional substance that is produced by the hypopharyngeal gland of mature worker bees, and bee bread, which is a honey and pollen mix.Full Answer >