Pollinators, such as most bees and some birds, bats, and other insects, play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables.
Examples of crops that are pollinated include (but not limited to) the ingredients listed below:
Apples | Onions | Avocados | Carrots | Mangos | Lemons | Limes | Honeydew | Cantaloupe | Zucchini | Summer squash | Eggplant | Cucumbers | Celery | Green onions | Cauliflower | Leeks | Bok choy | Kale | Broccoli | Broccoli rabe | Mustard greens
Without the assistance of pollinators, most plants cannot produce fruits and seeds. The fruits and seeds of flowering plants are an important food source for people and wildlife. Some of the seeds that are not eaten will eventually produce new plants, helping to maintain the plant population.
Over 75% of all flowering plants are pollinated by animals.In the United States pollination by honey bees directly or indirectly (e.g., pollination required to produce seeds for the crop) contributed to over $19 billion of crops in 2010. Pollination by other insect pollinators contributed to nearly $10 billion of crops in 2010.
A recent study of the status of pollinators in North America by the National Academy of Sciences found that populations of honey bees (which are not native to North America) and some wild pollinators are declining. Declines in wild pollinators may be a result of habitat loss and degradation, while declines in managed bees is linked to disease (introduced parasites and pathogens).