Pollinators are animals that facilitate plant pollination, leading to the production of seeds and ensuring genetic diversity. Pollinators do this incidentally – they feed on the nectar and pollen produced by flowers, and by visiting different flowers, they transfer pollen between plants. In Poland, the most important group of pollinators are the Hymenoptera of the superfamily Apoidea, known as wild bees (470 species), which are best adapted for transferring pollen. It’s important to remember that other insects such as flies, hoverflies, butterflies, and beetles also act as pollinators. The role of pollinators in nature and their value to humans are immeasurable. In Poland, over 60 plant species are cultivated, the yields of which depend on insect pollination (fruit plants, rapeseed, buckwheat, vegetables, medicinal plants), and over 75% of plant species consumed by humans require insect pollination. Fodder plants also need pollinators to grow and yield crops.

Currently, as the number of wild insects has greatly decreased, the honeybee has become the most important economic pollinator because it is widely used and available in large numbers thanks to beekeepers. However, it is not a universal pollinator, and therefore the presence of other species of pollinating insects in the landscape is necessary. They complement each other, rather than replace one another, due to differences in their shapes and behaviors. Thus, the food that ends up on our tables has, in most cases, involved pollinating insects. Unfortunately, environmental changes caused by human activities over many years do not favor wild bees and other pollinating insects. Many of them have become rare and endangered species. This is mainly due to the disappearance of suitable habitats for breeding and foraging, such as fallow lands, hedgerows, mid-field groves composed of trees and bushes, and extensive meadows and roadside trees. The excessive use of chemicals in the environment, as well as parasites, diseases, and climate changes, also play a significant role in the decline of pollinators. Actions must be taken to preserve the full richness of pollinating insects. To this end, it is crucial to leave areas where many wild herbaceous flowering plants grow, and to use fewer chemical substances in gardens and orchards. Building insect houses can also be helpful, but planting flowering herbaceous plants and nectar-bearing trees and bushes in the open landscape is significantly more important. Uncut lawns and unused lands will also allow many insects to survive, delighting us with their richness of colors, shapes, and behaviors.

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