In this busy life, we sometimes forget the small things. Pollination is one of them.
Textbooks generally define pollination as the “transfer of pollen from the male to the female organs of a plant, helping fertilization to happen”.
Interesting. But doesn’t this description make it all sound like a purely mechanical process?
Is it, in reality? Or is there something more to it?
The act of pollination in itself is rarely visible to the human eye. Its magical beauty is like a secret shared only amongst those Mother Nature chooses directly. It occurs in a brief instant and in the smallest space imaginable: the inside of a flower.
However, we are all able to picture it in our minds.
In fact, try closing your eyes for a minute. What do you see?
Isn’t it bees happily burying their little bodies in a flowerbed and butterflies dancing around colored petals? Isn’t it flowers in full bloom and dusty, golden specks floating through the air?
Yes. Pollination is not just animal instinct carrying out a process. It is a beautiful, unique moment, in which animal and plant worlds come together as one. It is a symphony of colors and sounds through which Mother Nature reproduces itself.
In fact, it is through this provision that we have fruit and vegetables to eat, flowers to smell and seeds to harvest. Without it, we would not exist.
So it is up to us to show our appreciation for this gift and to make sure we are doing all we can to safeguard the plants and the animals that make it all happen.
How can we do so?
If you have a garden or a green space, you should:
- Plant native plants and flowers in all shapes, sizes and colors. Leave a few weeds here and there: they are part of the native environment and designed to attract specific pollinators to the area.
- Plant a few plants that bloom all year-round. This ensures pollinators have enough food to get through the cold winters and dry summers.
- Leave tree trunks where they are. These turn into great “bee hotels”!
- Use more soil and less mulch. Many types of bees create their nests underground, where their little ones then hatch. If mulch is in the way, nesting becomes difficult.
- Go organic. Use companion planting to attract pollinators and get rid of unwanted pests. Then feed your soil with organic compost so your plants will grow to be strong, healthy and attractive to bees, butterflies and other insects.
If you don’t have a garden, then you could:
- Support land conservation by helping create and maintain community gardens and green spaces. This ensures pollinators have an appropriate environment to live in.
- Get involved. Learn more about pollination and its secrets, then share the information with friends and family. Watch documentaries, read books, have your kids take pictures of their favorite pollinators. Research organizations trying to do more in the name of nature, and take part in their local projects.
In conclusion, do not forget to take time to dwell on the small facts of life. It is these that lead to larger ones. And it is these that make this World such a valuable place to live in.
Hi there! My name is Michelle. I’m an American living in Italy, mom of two girls, a lover of travel, music and good food shared with loved ones. I am a freelance grant writer and a former agricultural development practitioner, having worked mostly in rural Africa for 18 years. I look forward to creating a space here – with your help – where we can exchange dreams, ideas and kindness to start shaping a better tomorrow.