Pollination leads to the formation of healthy seeds and fruit. It all takes place in the flower. The flower has several parts that are important for pollination. Flowers have male parts and female parts for reproduction. The male parts are called stamens that produce a sticky powder called pollen. Flowers also have a female part called the pistil. At the top of the pistil there is the stigma, which is often sticky. Seeds are made at the base of the pistil, in the ovule.

Pollination works by moving pollen from the stamen to the stigma. Sometimes plants self pollinate, meaning the pollen from their own stamen is transferred to the stigma. However, plants create the strongest and healthiest seeds when cross pollination occurs, having pollen from another plant of the same species transferred to the stigma. Pollination can be done by the wind but many plant species rely on pollinator animals to provide this service-like bees!

Bees feed on plant pollen and nectar and may visit up to 5,000 flowers in a day! Bees have hairy bodies and flat legs, which allows pollen to stick to them and be transported from one place to another. Pollination greatly improves crop yield, and honey bees increase production 2-8 times over!

Watch this video to understand the mutually beneficial relationship of pollinating for bees and plants.



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