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Some of the Greatest Pollinators on Earth

Updated on July 10, 2014
Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak | Source

In the Beginning

Those of you that have read my material know how I feel about the beauty of nature. To me, it is the most exciting thing that I can imagine, being out of doors, taking in the sweet smells of spring. In Oklahoma, it pleases me to be at nearby Boomer Lake, and it is intensified when the city mows, for then there is that wonderful aroma of onion grass gently wafting in the breeze. The wind, the sun, even the clouds all remind me of an irreplaceable time that I never take for granted. None of us can take it for granted, because without our natural surroundings, there would be no creatures, the earth would be barren.

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Pollination is a Large Part of Life as We Know It

Pollination is integral to the survival of the earth as we know it. It is done by nearly every living creature, including us, when we brush up against a plant or flower during spring, then come in contact with another one when we take a walk in the woods, or anywhere else where there are other flora. Bees, birds, ants, bats and other animals do this in order to get food(nectar), and in so doing, help us to have fruits and vegetables in our gardens, allow public places like Longwood Gardens in Longwood, PA, to exist as a business, and give us our wonderful forests and wildflowers that we might see in the medians of our highways and byways.

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And thus, life goes on. So many beautiful and wonderful plants, trees, flowers and shrubs, just to name a few items that we are able to have due to the simple wonder of pollination. Wind pollination is most likely the fastest way to get seeds into the air, but it cannot travel as far as an animal or bird can take it. Why, birds can travel a number of miles before they might excrete the seeds from the fruit or berries that they ate, and by the time that they are hungry again, they could come in contact with a future bud's flower on a tree and the process begins once again.

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Ants Aren't Just Pests

There are a couple of ants that were searching for nectar in this gorgeous wildflower. Innocent enough, yes? In seeking sustenance, they are also paying a visit to the male anthers and the female stigma, the plant reproductive structures. Then, when they go on to another plant, they'll pollinate more and more, so a dual purpose is served here: they are eating and propagating flowers. That's what excites me so much about nature. It is a circle of life, a necessary one.

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Bugs Have Their Uses

If you look at this seed plant at approximately 1 o'clock, there's a little green bug. Once this bug leaves the seeds, he will carry this plant somewhere else to grow. Some of the tiniest insects that we take for granted also do their share in pollination. They can't travel as far as a winged animal, but they can move seeds and generate reproduction locally, which is the largest part of propagation. If we consider why so many plants and flowers are naturally in one area of the country, this is the biggest reason why, due to climate and rainfall.

Your thirst for knowledge can be satiated with a number of wonderful sources. I, for one, happen to favor the approach of National Geographic Magazine. They portray material in easy-to-understand language, and will certainly answer any questions that you might have, or even raise a few with their articles. Not only that, the photography is some of the most exemplary that I have ever seen.

Warbling Vireo Atop Coral Honeysuckle
Warbling Vireo Atop Coral Honeysuckle | Source

Birds As Pollinators

Here's a great pollinator, the Warbling Vireo. These birds are more often seen than heard, so this was a fortunate circumstance to be in the right place at the right time. They winter in Mexico and Central America, and during the summer, some of them will make it to the Northwest Territories in Canada. They are terrific pollinators and as you can see from their wide range, they are very useful for this line of work, too.

Honeybee on Dandelion
Honeybee on Dandelion | Source

Honey Bees Are Made For This Work

These are also one of the most important pollinators that can probably pollinate faster than any other living creature. They are fuzzy and carry an electrostatic charge, both of which are very helpful in quickly moving pollen. A honey bee that is deliberately gathering pollen is up to 10 times more efficient as a pollinator primarily gathering nectar and unintentionally transferring pollen. Declines in health and population of pollinators pose what is likely a very substantial threat to biodiversity, human health, and global food webs. At least 80% of the world's crops require pollination for the purposes of seeding. It is estimated that one out of every three bites of food comes to us via the work of animal pollinators, and that, thank you very much, happens to be free of charge.

What We Are Losing

I now wish to state my opinion on this life as we know it. The more that Big Oil takes what it deems necessary to make multi-billion dollar profits, the less natural environment we have for our plants and wildlife. Fracking also tears up the countryside, and that I can vouch for in PA where I spent a year of my life. Granted, those that have land where Big Business seeks a piece get free gas rights for the rest of their lives, BUT that land will take hundreds of years to become useful for nature once again. I was told that the average life of a gas well is seven years, but compare that to hundreds of years. To me, it is no contest, or at best, very unfairly stacked.

This is why our animals are becoming extinct and endangered, all because of the human way of life. Ever wonder why so few advances are being made with alternative energy? It has to do with multi-billion dollar profits.

We all have the Power of One. The more that we talk to our friends and neighbors, the less hold big business has. Here's an example. It is much more affordable now to have organic food. If we don't have the luxury of the land to raise it, the more we buy, the less expensive it becomes. I have been drinking organic milk, and for almost the same price, I get better quality and better tasting milk.

Let me leave you with one final thing. Take a look at this beautiful and mind-opening video. With all the words that I have written here, this video says the same thing in four minutes. Take a look at it, and revel in nature as I did, like so many other people are doing. I guarantee that it is worth the time that you will spend on it and you will be smiling and in awe as I was. My pictures don't hold a candle to it.

Please Pass My Message On

Please everybody, remember the Power of One. For every one of us that this message reaches, we get closer to saving our environment before it is too late and there are no more plants to pollinate because we gave in to others.

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly | Source

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    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I appreciate the suggestion, Gilank. I deas just like that can make all the difference in the world.

    • profile image

      Gilank 2 years ago

      I really liked your cheannl and this video. If you need any help getting this video exposed I use a site called tubeviews.(net) It has really helped like 20 of my main videos get to the top in position. Its nice.that is very awesome i love this

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Not here, but perhaps elsewhere, Putryiegadizz.

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      Putrychiegadizz 2 years ago

      deliciously creepy....oh the dark taests seem to have gotten a grip on him...smiles...so are you getting over blushing by writing your own bits of sexual poetry now? smiles....

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Suhail, 4-leggeds are definitely good pollinators, too, both wild and domestic! I wrote that a couple of years ago.

    • Suhail and my dog profile image

      Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent 2 years ago from Mississauga, ON

      Great article and just in time for the National Pollinator week! Very informative indeed in more than one ways.

      Btw, I can easily add one more species to this list of pollinators. My dog 'K2' always carries seeds on his fur when walking in the bush, which later fall off at different places on the trail, sometimes in my flower beds back home :-D

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Linda. Nature is my favorite subject. If we don't care for it now, it will not last as we know it.

    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 3 years ago from The Land of Enchantment

      Deb, this is a marvelous hub. Thank you so much for mentioning it to me; I don't spend as much time reading the wonderful works of my fellow Hubbers as I would like. The video was thrilling and the bats really intrigued me. As you know, I watch and photograph Hummingbirds frequently, but the bats were rare for me. Beautifully and passionately written! Voted Awesome! L.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Exactly, KerryAnita. I'm glad that you were able to stop by and read this piece. Nature means a great deal to me.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks so much, Eddy. You have a great year, yourself!

    • KerryAnita profile image

      KerryAnita 4 years ago from Satellite Beach, Florida

      Great hub. Pollinators are truly intrinsic to plant life, and thus all life and nature on this planet. It is so important to protect even the smallest lifeforms, like bees or ants, because they are so essential to the balance of nature.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      So interesting and beautiful my friend. I vote up,across and share all around.

      I wish you great things in 2013.

      Take care

      Eddy.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I love onion grass that is freshly mowed, and we have so much of it at the lake. Johnny Appleseed began planting all those trees all over the country and it became so infectious, too. We must get back to the basics, and plant a tree as often as we can.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Humans always have to mess with nature. I have seen many shows where different things like rats brought somewhere by man or this or that have become uncontrollable, even things that seem nice. I think we don't need to try to improve on God. Johnny Appleseed seemed to have a good idea though. I smell onion grass in the summer too! Can't say I enjoy it but you know at one time, I use to cook with those. Very good!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Hey, CrisSP! I'm glad that this piece can help your daughter on a school project. It is up to the kids to take care of Mother Earth so that she will survive in a better way.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This is awesome! Very informative and interesting hub. The monarch caught my attention and the article, itself is well written.

      I was just talking to my daughter about how mother nature is being destroyed by the advancement of technology and how can we protect it. She's writing an essay about it for school and this is a perfect read.

      Happy to have stumbled upon this hub. Thank you. Voted up and absolutely sharing.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That's precisely why I wrote this article, AnimalWrites.

    • AnimalWrites profile image

      AnimalWrites 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      Interesting hub aviannovice. Pollination is something that most of us take for granted, but poorly understand the impact on us all if it doesn't happen. The human race currently seems to be addicted to short term gratification, and we seem to be content to destroy anything in our path in order to have the lifestyle we seem to think we deserve. But what will happen to future generations, the animals, the plants, the landscape? Will they curse our greed as they try to live on a torn up, wiped out planet?

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      No, Cindy, I let my subscription lapse a while ago, but thanks for mentioning it, I will look it up. Just pass this article on to as many people as possible, and it will help raise our voices. We CAN do it, but you know how the squeaky wheel gets the oil...

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      Agree, agree, agree, agree. I love your approach here. I also feel strongly that big oil and the Western consumerist style of living are asking too much of this planet. It pains and saddens me that we have destroyed so many ecosystems and as developing countries adopt a more consumeristic lifestyle, we are going to ravage the earth's resources til there is nothing left. The people with the big-money corporations turn a blind eye - to them, it's money, not the cycle of life that makes the world go 'round and I sooo want to change that. Like you, I started writing. Perhaps with these wonderful articles and more information, people will begin to see that we cannot take more than we deserve, that we cannot disrespect nature. *sigh* You struck a cord with this one. I just LOVE your hubs! :) Oh, and did you see this month's National Geographic, yet? There is a beautiful article about the little island of Socotra and its struggle to keep the island pristine but it's becoming a victim of "progress", potentially destroying animals and plants that exist no where else on earth. Just when I despair, I think, O.K., one step at a time. Perhaps we can preserve it.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      I appreciate the fact that you are giving this good press, Cathleena. Please reach all the people you can with this message. With the Power of One, we can reach all the people possible that we can and we WILL make a difference before it is too late.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 5 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Someone shared this a few minutes ago and mentioned the video. I missed it the first time round, but caught it just now. You don't want to miss it. The link is near the end of the hub. The hummingbird that is dancing and happily twirling in it is adorable. It's a definite MUST SEE!

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      grandmapearl, there is only one way to do it, and that's another reason why I ask that this be passed on to as many people that you know as possible. If I can reach ONE person involved in the destruction of life as we know it, and if I can't get them impassioned by nature, nobody can.

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America

      Informative and interesting hub with tips we all need to put in place. And that video I almost didn't watch was FANTASTIC! Thank you for sharing it all!

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 5 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      You are right on the mark--once again the all-mighty dollar takes precedence over anything else. It will be our ultimate undoing in the end. It drives our culture to our detriment. Living in rural New York State and experiencing all the gas wells that have sprung up overnight and lasted about as long, I can only hope that somehow we can influence the big money machine before it is too late. Thanks for bringing this extremely important issue to light. Preserving and protecting nature is the only way we humans will survive. Voted Up and shared.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, cryptid. That is my message and I truly feel that we need to act now.

    • cryptid profile image

      cryptid 5 years ago from Earth

      Beautiful Hub with wonderful advice and some amazing photos. Well done! Raising awareness of the importance of these pollinators can help to keep them around for the next generations.

    • aviannovice profile image
      Author

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You're most welcome, Cathleena. Yes, we must be the voice for animals, as big business does not have their best interests at heart.

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 5 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Wonderful hub on the greatest pollinators. Agree with you too on the negative impact "Big oil" has on the environment. Too bad the animals and nature don't have a vote. Thank you for sharing the beauty that surrounds you with us on Hubpages.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Jeannie. It's always a pleasure to see you here.

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      Jeannie Dibble 5 years ago

      Wonderfully stated Deb....

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      klara, that's the whole thing...I don't want these things to be memories. They need to live on, as they should. Thanks for being so supportive.

    • aviannovice profile image
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      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Thanks, Joyce. I am hoping for a great awareness before it is too late.

    • profile image

      klarawieck 5 years ago

      Deb, I love the fact that you are creating an awareness for our habitats. I miss the days when I had my butterfly/bird garden. I used to have hummingbirds visiting every day and I watched the process of the monarchs reproduction. By the way, the video was amazing! I got teary eye when I saw the field of monarchs. Absolutely gorgeous!

      Thank you!

    • writer20 profile image

      Joyce Haragsim 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

      You wrote a great hub and I'm many of your followers will do what you have asked.

      Voted up useful and interesting, Joyce.

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