How do bees pollinate flowers?


Quick Answer

Bees play a critical role in the life cycle of plants by pollinating them. Michigan State University explains that pollination occurs when pollen from the male part of the plant fertilizes the female part of the plant. Bees pollinate plants by landing on the flowers, picking up pollen and then transferring it to other plants of the same species while they collect nectar.

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Full Answer

  1. Land on flowers

    Bees start pollinating plants by landing on flowers. Flowers are made specifically to attract pollinators with bright colors, sweet aromas and petals that create a landing platform. Flowers even give bees nectar, which they use to make honey, as motivation to visit.

  2. Pick up pollen

    Once bees land on flowers, they pick up pollen with the hairs on their bodies. They also use electrostatic forces to keep the pollen grains sticking to their bodies. They then brush the pollen from their bodies into specialized sacks.

  3. Transfer pollen

    Because bees gather nectar and pollen from one species of plant at a time, pollen gets transferred from flower to flower. This cross-pollination allows male pollen to be carried to the female parts of flowers for reproduction. In some species cross-pollination is necessary for reproduction and the production of seeds.

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