Nature is just so amazing. The more you learn, the more fascinating it becomes. We know that insects are needed to pollinate nearly all the edible and ornamental plants that we enjoy in our gardens. Without those insects, a huge percentage of the food we eat and the flowers we love would no longer exist.

Have you ever wondered how and why those insects find the flowers they pollinate? Obviously, the why is because they are looking for food. Many insects eat pollen or feed it to their young, but mostly, as they approach the flower, they are looking for the nectar. All pollinators drink nectar. In their quest for the nectar, they brush against the pollen and spread it around the flower or to other flowers. It is purely accidental on the part of the bee that it is making it possible for the plant to procreate. The answer to how they find the pollen contains some amazing facts, and provides part of the explanation as to why diversity of plants in your garden is so important.

Barb Mrgich is a Penn State Master Gardener from Adams County. Penn State Extension of Adams County.

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