When I learned that June 22-28, 2009 was National Pollinator Week, I immediately thought of the plight of the honeybees (see clip below) and the beauty of butterflies. But hummingbirds, bumblebees, bats, ants, beetles, and even lemurs and skinks can also pollinate flowers. When they go from flower to flower, these critters transfer pollen. This fertilizes the plants and allows them to reproduce successfully.
The U.S. Forest Service Botany Program reports that every third bite of food you eat is possible because of a pollinator. "Pollinators play a key role in the production of more than 150 food crops in the U.S., such as apples, alfalfa, almonds, blueberries, cranberries, kiwis, melons, pears, plums, and squash," according to material provided by The Pollinator Partnership.
So, the next time you see a bumblebee visiting your vegetable garden, or a honeybee buzzing in your flowers, don't be afraid. Just admire them from a distance and let them continue to do their important job.