What Is an Example of Mutualism?

One of the most familiar examples of mutualism is a bee and a plant. A bee lands on flowers to gather nectar, and, through this process, the bee and the plant both benefit.

As the bee is obtaining food, pollen from the plant's male component, the anther, rubs off and sticks to the bee's body. The bee flies to a similar flower to gather more nectar, and some of the tag-along pollen is shed on this plant's female part, the stigma. This fertilizes the plant and allows it to reproduce. Honey bees are particularly good partners for mutualism because they specifically search for plants with pollen. The bees need this powder to feed their larvae.