Pollinator Week – 2016
“Nature is to be found in her entirety nowhere more than in her smallest creatures.” — Pliny the Elder
Pollinator Week began in 2007 upon the Senate’s unanimous decision to designate a week of June as “National Pollinator Week”. This marked the beginning of advancing awareness of all pollinating species. Pollinating species such as: bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and others are vital to our nation’s well-being by pollinating the flowers of plants that produce food, fiber, feed, and fuel.
The photo above is Purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea). The purple parts of the plant are the petals of the flowers. The pollen of Purple prairie clover is orange, and is the male parts of the flower. The structures that create and present the pollen are called stamens. Pollinating species are attracted to the flower by its bright color and sweet nectar. As the pollinating species search the flower for nectar they are come in contact with the pollen; the pollen can either attach to the pollinator or can simply be knocked loose from the stamen. As the pollinator moves about the flower they transfer the pollen from the stamens to the pistil. The pistil is the female part of the plant. When the pollen (male) and is placed in or on the pistil (female) fertilization occurs. Upon fertilization the flower will begin to produce a fruit. We knows these fruits as vegetables, fruits, or seeds.