THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF POLLINATORS AS WELL AS BEES... HERE ARE A FEW OF THEM...
There are many different types of insect pollinators including bees... Here are a few of them.
Most species of butterflies perform some type of pollination function. When feeding on nectar from flowers, pollen will be deposited on their appendages and then transferred to the stigma of the next flower that the butterfly visits to feed on. Butterfly-pollinated flowers tend to be pink or lavender coloured, scented and with large petals or leaves for the butterfly to land on. Most British butterflies remain a cause for concern, with three quarters of our native species in decline. Four butterflies have become extinct in the last 100 years.
There are over 250 species of hoverfly in the UK, with a wide range of appearances. All hoverflies belong in the family Syrphidae, and share the characteristic of a 'spurious' vein in the wings, which does not terminate in another vein or at the edge of the wing. In most cases hoverflies are easily recognised and this characteristic will not need to be checked. Most UK hoverflies can be identified from external characteristics, although in some cases this will require recourse to a specimen. For a few species, most notably those in the genus Sphaerophoria, it is necessary to refer to the genitalia to confirm the identification. The best resource for hoverfly identification is Stubbs and Falk's guide to British hoverflies.
Although most flowering plants rely on flying insects for pollination, spiders also play an important role. Either simply by passing from one flower to another, or hiding within the head of a flower and using it as a lure, catching and eating other insects that happen to visit. As they can act as a deterrent to other insects the relationship between different flowers and spiders can be complex and have both negative and beneficial effects on pollination.
There are however certain species such as the male crab spider that rely on the nectar of flowers for nourishment passing from one to another, pollinating as they look for a female mate.
Globally, over 500 species of plant rely on bats for pollination including bananas, certain palms and agave, used to make tequila.
Visiting large, nectar filled night flowering plants, bats which are attracted to flowers by UV light use long tongues to extract the nectar and in the process pick up pollen. They also play a vital role in a number of other ways, such as seed dispersal and eating pests.
Although common pollinators in tropical and desert habitats. Whether any bats in Europe contribute to plant pollination is debatable.
Beetles are widely believed to have been the first insects to pollinate flowers, a process that started around 150-200 million years ago. In the semi-arid environments of South Africa and certain parts of California, beetles still play a major part in plant pollination. Plants that use beetles to pollinate usually have wide open flowers and well protected carpels, helping to avoid their reproductive organs being damaged by the beetle’s mandibles. These flowers can also include traps to ensure that beetles stay on the flowers long enough to pick up pollen.
In the UK plants commonly pollinated by beetles, such as the Cantharid beetle include, sunflowers, hogweed and magnolias which, due to the evolution of insect pollination, are amongst the oldest flowering plants.
Over 2400 species of moth have been recorded in the UK and by far the most common are those that feed using a long narrow straw called a proboscis to draw nectar from flowers.
Flowers that have evolved to be particularly attractive to moths such as Wild Honeysuckle, Campions, Evening Primroses and Sweet Williams are usually light in colour, improving their visibility in low light, they also have long narrow tubes leading to the nectar and usually produce scents that become stronger in the evening. Despite this, moths are able to extract nectar from a wide variety of flowering plants and visit many species.
Although carnivorous, wasps pollinate either by hunting prey or while reproducing. Some plant species such as African milkweed are exclusively pollinated by wasps.
Closer to home, the Helleborine orchid that grows across Europe and Asia tricks wasps by releasing scents that plants produce when infested with grubs, in the hope of attracting predatory insects.
Another example of wasp pollination is the female Fig wasp, who leave there “host fig” upon maturing covered in pollen. Having mated they deposit their eggs in another fig by entering through a small opening at the base, depositing the pollen in the process.
The term midge refers to a large group of small flies, and like all flies many are pollinators. Perhaps most interestingly the Forcipomyia midge, at a little over 1mm is believed to be the only animal capable of pollinating the cocoa plant. Without which the production of chocolate would be impossible without artificial human pollination.
Although ants certainly collect nectar from flowers, some believe that many species of ant excrete antibiotics that destroy pollen. There are however examples of ant pollination, such as the spurge, which grows close to the ground and in addition to being pollinated by small species of bee, are also pollinated by ants. Certain Australian orchids are also pollinated by tree ants.
There are over 7000 species of fly in the UK, many of which as well as drinking nectar and eating pollen visit flowers in order to take shelter from bad weather, find mates or lay eggs. Flies are especially important to flowering plants that grow in damp or dark environments where less bees and other pollinating insects visit. For this reason, many woodland species are pollinated by flies.
One large group of flies, the Hoverfly, of which there are around 250 species play a large role in the pollination of common wildflower such as Buttercups, Daisies, Dandy Lions, Calendula and Fennel.