It is believed that 84% of flowering plants rely on insects for pollination,
1 in 3 bites from your plate is a result of pollinators.
Pollination is when pollen moves from the male part of the plant (anther) to the female part of the plant (stigma) to allow fertilisation and the production of seeds.
There are two types of pollination:
Self pollination, where the pollen moves from the anthers to the stigma of the same plant
Cross Pollination where the pollen form one plant is transferred to a different plant.
This can happen in different ways - artificially, by wind and by pollinators.
Pollinator is the name given to the creatures that facilitate that process.
The most commonly known pollinators are bees and butterflies. Wasps, Ants, Flies, Midgies, Moths, Mosquitos and Beetles are also effective pollinators, as are birds and bat to a lesser extent.
Pollination by insects is the most effective method of pollination, it keeps plants strong by allowing evolution to occur, and allow the strongest traits to survive.
Pollinators help clean the air, stabilise soil, and support other wildlife. And as a bonus, it's free - some growers mimic a bee by using a paint brush to cross pollinate their plants.
Gardens play a huge roll in protecting and encouraging pollinators.
Due to growing awareness and people being actively considerate of pollinators the number of bees have stopped decreasing in urban areas.
There are a few simple things that you can do to help attract pollinators to your garden.
Plant a wide range of plants.
Using a range of different plants that will flower throughout the season will attract different pollinators to your garden.
Try here for suggestions.
Ensure there is shelter
Pollinators need somewhere to hide, shelter and raise their young. Hedges, stick piles, compost heap and unmown, longer grass are all ideal.
Plant in generous
Pollinators are typically short sighted so a large patch of colour will attract them to your garden and keep them there for longer.
Add a source of water
All creatures need water so a shallow dish with fresh water is a great way to allow the pollinators to get a drink. Add some stones to allow for easy access and
Avoid insecticides where possible.
Insecticides are highly toxic and indiscriminate and will cause harm to any living thing in your garden. and may kill them.
Try here for a blog on natural insecticides.