Pollen, also known as pollen grains, are powdery substances that are rich in proteins. These are produced by many plants, especially the floral plants. They have great importance in the eco-system, as they are responsible for the development of naturally growing plants. Bugs or insects which visit the flowers for seeking the sugary nectar inside it tend to carry pollen with them. Unknowingly they disperse these pollens in nature, which becomes the major reason for the growth of new plants. Bugs also eat these pollens as it helps to enrich their diets.
- Bees and Flies
Bees are very much popular because of their co-dependent relation with the flowers. Bees who visit the flowers, get coated with a layer of pollen on them. Then, they fly across and shed some of the pollen in nature to help a plant reproduce and to grow new plants. Flowers, in return, provide the bees with the nectar and the pollen to take back to their hives.
Bees that you see resting on the flowers are not always eating the pollens but are mostly taking up the nectar from the flowers. And they take up the mixture of both pollens and nectar with them in their hives to feed their developing larvae.
Wasps feed their young ones with the nectar and pollen that they carry with them from the flowers. They help in pollinating, but they don’t eat the pollens. Almost all the species of the flies look similar to the bee and eat pollens after now and then. But it’s not their typical diet staple as most of the land on the flowers to drink nectar instead of eating the pollens.
Most of the beetles enjoy the richness of proteins that they receive from eating pollen. In the US, ladybugs are commonly seen to eat pollens. Another example of beetles is pollen beetle, which is a small bluish-black beetle that sits on the flowers and decimates the entire plant by eating so much pollens that they can’t reproduce.
- Butterflies and Moths
Butterflies are considered as the most powerful pollinators for the day-blooming flowers. On the other hand, moths perform the same task for the night-blooming flowers. But the important thing to learn about these is that they don’t eat pollen. However, they thrive on the sweet nectar from a variety of flowers. They fly, and on the way, they perform their activity of pollinating plants. The pollen stuck to their legs and bellies, drops on the next plant they go, thus helping the plants to reproduce.
Some of the mites consider the pollens as a tasty treat. Most of the pollen mites especially visit the flower for a great time to enjoy their meal. These are too tiny and can’t even jump on the back of the pollinators. They can’t snatch all their pollens, which they are about to spread for pollination. They consider the big bee pests. They continue to ride on the back of the insects to their hives. They steal all the hidden pollen in the colony to feed themselves and leave nothing for the bees to feed their larvae.