Virtual Museum of Canada
Jardin botanique de Montréal 
Centre for Forest Research

Bugborne transport

You can put your box of tissues away! Cherry-tree pollen is not carried by the wind, but rather on the backs of insects. That's why it's called entomophilous. It is estimated that more than 80% of the plants humans use for food are fertilized by bees and other insect pollinators. Einstein is even said to have claimed that if pollinators were to disappear, mankind would have only four years left.

A chestnut tree, which is also pollinated by bees, is like an air traffic controller! Once its flowers are pollinated, they turn from yellow to red, a colour bees can't see. By making this "runway" disappear, the chestnut forces the bees to forage on its unpollinated flowers.

Photo of a bee (Andrena dunningi) pollinating a willow flower (Salix sp.)
Andrena dunningi on Salix sp.
© Insectarium de Montréal (André Payette)
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