Bee Pollination

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IMP: The secret lives of bees paper: Paul Lang

Pollination
The cycle of pollination is the very heart of the world of flora. It is the process by which plants reproduce. The process of pollination consists of this: the grains of pollen are moved from the stamens of one flower to the carpel of a different plant. These are like the male and female parts of plants. Most plants have both, but cannot pollinate themselves. Each pollen grain has half of the DNA that is needed to make a new plant. This combines with the DNA that is already there, and the carpel begins to grow seeds. In order for pollination to occur the pollen has to be carried or transferred in some way from one plant to another. This can be done in two ways: biotic pollination and abiotic pollination. Biotic pollination is a process where an insect or animal transfers the pollen from one plant to another. In abiotic pollination, the pollen travels by either wind or water. An estimated 80% of pollination is biotic with the remaining 20% as abiotic pollination.

The biotic pollination is done entirely unintentionally with insects usually going from one plant to another transferring pollen. The largest pollinator of plants is the bee. Bees use the nectar from plants to make the honey that the live off of. When a worker bee goes to a plant to collect nectar it’s “fur” gets coated with pollen particles so when it goes to the next plant the pollen on its fur is transferred and the pollination cycle is completed. Bees have always willingly filled their role in the pollination of plant but more and more bees are bred and distributed specifically for the purpose of pollination with more bees sold for commercial pollination than for the production of honey. The reason for their extreme popularity is that a farming corporation or orchard can almost triple their output by buying about one hive per acre of crops or trees. As well as using these bees to pollinate orchards and farms can also...
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