Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther, the male part of the flower, to the female part the stigma. Once there, the pollen germinates allowing fertilization to occur. This results in the production of fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds. Nature’s preference for genetic diversification resulted in cross pollination - a transfer of pollen from male flower to female flower or between different varieties of the same crop. Plants have developed different strategies to transfer pollen from one place to another based on wind or animal - mainly insects. The main agricultural pollinators, by far, are honey bees.
According to the UN, the world population is expected to be over 9 billion by 2050, and agricultural production must grow by 70% in order to avoid food scarcity.
About 75% of the world’s crops rely on animal pollination, about another 25% rely on uncontrollable wind pollination.
Natural pollinators have declined in numbers and diversity; today there are 75% fewer flying insects compared to 25 years ago and 30% of insect species are in danger of extinction. Managed bees are facing Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) causing an acute lack of beehive availability, compounded by collapsing bee populations.