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Short Video: Bee Pollination

by Pearson
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Many plants rely on animals to transport pollen from the anthers to the stigma of the carpel. Typically, the pollinators are rewarded for this work with a sugary substance called nectar or with pollen that is high in protein. Many different animals act as pollinators, including bees, beetles, butterflies, birds, and bats. This video shows how a bumble bee visiting a Salvia plant will burrow its head among the flower's petals to suck the nectar from the flower's nectary. The anthers of the flower are located in such a way that the bee inevitably becomes dusted with pollen. When the bee emerges from the flower, it spends a few seconds using a specialized set of bristles on its first pair of legs to brush the pollen from its body and maneuver the pollen into the yellow pollen baskets located on its third pair of legs. The bee is not completely successful in removing all the pollen from its body, so when the bee enters the next flower, it will deposit pollen on the sticky stigma of the carpel. For the flower, the bee is essential for its sexual reproduction to occur; for the bee, the flower provides a supply of sugar and pollen to manufacture honey for the hive. Credit: Courtesy of Graham R. Kent and Rebecca L. Turner, Smith College.
Many plants rely on animals to transport pollen from the anthers to the stigma of the carpel. Typically, the pollinators are rewarded for this work with a sugary substance called nectar or with pollen that is high in protein. Many different animals act as pollinators, including bees, beetles, butterflies, birds, and bats. This video shows how a bumble bee visiting a Salvia plant will burrow its head among the flower's petals to suck the nectar from the flower's nectary. The anthers of the flower are located in such a way that the bee inevitably becomes dusted with pollen. When the bee emerges from the flower, it spends a few seconds using a specialized set of bristles on its first pair of legs to brush the pollen from its body and maneuver the pollen into the yellow pollen baskets located on its third pair of legs. The bee is not completely successful in removing all the pollen from its body, so when the bee enters the next flower, it will deposit pollen on the sticky stigma of the carpel. For the flower, the bee is essential for its sexual reproduction to occur; for the bee, the flower provides a supply of sugar and pollen to manufacture honey for the hive. Credit: Courtesy of Graham R. Kent and Rebecca L. Turner, Smith College.