Together, they do great things. When a bee pollinates a plant, it’s the first step in building a thriving ecosystem that supports all life, big and small.
Right now, the little guys could use a helping hand. We’re planting bee-friendly wildflowers across the U.S. to help local bees, beekeepers, farmers and communities. Humans depend on bees to pollinate 70% of our favorite food crops, and their colonies are shrinking every year.
Spread some seeds and you won’t just be saving the bees. You’ll be making an impact all the way up the food chain.
It all starts
When you plant wildflower seeds, you begin a cycle that supports wildlife from the ground up: pollination. Here’s how planting a little seed supports bees, people and everything in between.
Once a seed grows into a plant, it needs to reproduce. Since plants can’t move, they depend on pollinators, like bees, to share their genes for them. A plant’s genes appear in the form of tiny, protein-packed particles called pollen.
To entice pollinators to spread their pollen, plants grow brightly colored flowers with sweet nectar stored deep inside.
Out & About
Bees need pollen to make honey, but it takes thousands of bees stopping at millions of flowers to produce enough honey for a hive. Every day plants are in bloom, an army of bees heads out from the hive to forage.
Packin' Up Pollen
When a bee visits a flower, she packs the pouches on her legs full of sticky pollen and does her best to drink up its nectar. Some flowers make their nectar hard to reach so bees stay longer.
Making The Rounds
As she stops at the next blossom, some of the other pollen she’s collected shakes off and sticks to the flower’s stigma. A worker bee will only visit one kind of flower on each trip but may visit 100 different blossoms, thoroughly mixing up the local gene pool.
Now, the bees have everything they need to make honey and feed their hive. Meanwhile, the cross-pollinated flowers nearby are ready to spread their seeds and start the process over.