Thursday, 24 July 2014

Pollination and Flowers: Wonder of Nature Created by Bees Birds and Insects

Growing a beautiful garden

Beauty of gardens lies in its wonderful flowers, lawns and trees. However there is a deeper aspect to gardening called pollination and many kitchen gardeners would agree that bees, insects and butterflies are the gardener’s best helpers.
To that eternal question “How does your garden grow?” bees, butterflies and insects may provide an answer that goes beyond ordinary human laws. For nature has provided something, that connects two different species, through an interdependency that can only be called magical. 
Pollination is vital for garden flowers (Pixabay Public Domain Photos)

Understanding pollination

Pollination in simple terms is the transfer of pollen grains through air, water and by insects from one plant to another. This kind of transfer is essential for the flowers to become fruits. Though a small percentage of plants exchange pollen over air and water, the majority of plants require the services of bees, birds, insects and humans for transferring its pollen grains to another plant.

Commercial activity

Today pollination is done commercially using bees grown specifically for that purpose. There are hundreds of bee varieties and one has to choose the correct one for growing. Of course to the novice, all bees would be the same. Most common classification of bees would include the following.

Attractive flowers attract bees (Pixabay Public Domain Photos)
a) Bumblebee: Form small colonies and are fairly sociable. Some cuckoo bumblebees inhabit other bumblebee colonies and are social parasites. These pollinate flowers very efficiently because they have hairy body.
b) Solitary bee: These work alone and cut up holes in the woodwork. They will disappear after their larvae hatches.
c)     Leaf-cutter bees: These are solitary bees, usually one solitary female which may have a couple of other bees for company. They are used commercially for pollination.
d)    Carpenter bees: These kinds of bees are also solitary and pollinate very efficiently. They have black shiny bodies that are quite hairy.      
e)     Mining bees: These mining bees, usually solitary females build nests underground. They do not like clayey soil since it is difficult to build nests there. 



Use of flowering plants for attracting bees and butterflies

Bright colored flowers will attract bees and insects. Plant bright flowering plants in shade protected from strong winds. This will ensure that bees spend lots of time in the pollination process. Some of the popular flowering plants are given here.
             1)    Catmint
             2)    Bluebell
             3)    Foxgloves
             4)    Daffodil
             5)    Comfrey
             6)    Rosemary
             7)    Lavender

 
Gardens are a boon to any house (Pixabay Public Domain Photos)

Planning your garden

Gardens that are planned well will have bigger and better fruit. Use of pollination techniques ensures efficient use of flowers in the garden. One has to protect the soil and use fertilizers too to keep them fertile.