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COASTSIDE / Gardens

Pollinators are unsung heroes of planet Earth Text and photos by Stephanie Erskine

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ees are famous for spreading pollen from flower to flower, but just about anything that helps distribute pollen from one plant to another can be called a “pollinator.” The list of pollinators includes wind, birds, beetles, butterflies, moths, flies, wasps and even humans! Why do we need pollinators? Imagine a world without chocolate, blueberries or coffee. Unthinkable, right? But that’s what would happen if pollinators disappeared. Without pollinators, many flowering plants would not be able to reproduce. In fact, 75 percent of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollinators. A vast majority of the fruit, vegetable, nut and seed crops grown around the world for human consumption

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depend on pollinators. Unfortunately, bees and other pollinators are having a hard time maintaining their populations due to disease, parasites, loss of habitat and other factors. It really is about the birds and the bees Pollination occurs when pollen grains from the male part of one flower (the “anther”) are transferred to the female part (the “stigma”) of another flower. Pollination sets off a chain of events that leads to fertilization and, ultimately, to the production of seeds, which enable the plant to reproduce and/or form fruits, vegetables and other edibles. Hummingbirds, those colorful, ethereal garden visitors, also have a practical side: They are very good pollinators and are even referred to by some as “feathered bees.” As they flit here

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COASTSIDE magazine - May 2021  

COASTSIDE magazine Vol. 2 No. 5 MAY 2021 Rock of support during fire, pandemic Women leaders manage social safety nets on coast By Sara...

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COASTSIDE magazine Vol. 2 No. 5 MAY 2021 Rock of support during fire, pandemic Women leaders manage social safety nets on coast By Sara...

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