Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Hey guys, welcome to episode 13 of Brilliant Botany on YouTube. In today's video I'm going to introduce you to a few very cool plant pollinator relationships. Pollination in its most basic form is the transfer of pollen from a flower's anther, the male reproduction portion of the flower, to a flower's stigma, the female reproductive portion. This hopefully allows for fertilization of that flower's egg or eggs, so that it can produces seeds and reproduce. Some flowers can self pollinate within the same flower, or within the same plant, or pollination can happen between different plants of the same species. There are a lot of ways pollination can happen, rain, wind or with the help of pollinators, other organisms that shuttle the pollen between flowers. When I say pollinator, you probably think of bees. And you would be right! Bees are an important pollinator, especially for agriculture. Almonds, for example, are the most valuable export in California, at over a billion US dollars per year. Almond trees, of course, need pollinators, and that's where bees come in. Every year, hundreds of thousands of bee hives are transported to California to pollinate that year's almond crop. Without a healthy beekeeping industry, we wouldn't have almonds, not to mention the rest of the pollinator-reliant crops we eat on a daily basis. Bees, however, are not the only pollinators out there. Many insects, animals and even birds function as pollinators for plants across the world. The Ruffed Lemur in Madagascar pollinates the Traveler's Palm . This tree produces a large amount of pollen that the lemurs feed on, transferring it between trees as they stick their faces into the flowers. Bats can also function as pollinators when feeding on nectar using their long tongues. These guys feed at night, and the flowers draw the bats in with a smell like fermenting fruit and large amounts of nectar. Like lemurs, pollen is caught on the bats' faces and is transferred as they move between flowers. And sometimes, humans have to be pollinators. Commercially produced vanilla has no natural pollinators, so all vanilla crops are individually hand pollinated. Vanilla is an orchid, and has a very small window in which it must be pollinated, less than 12 hours. Growers have to move in with a piece of wood or grass stem to pollinate the flower and ensure it produces a vanilla bean. Orchids are pretty cool when it comes to pollination, and have evolved some pretty crazy plant pollinator relationships. Several orchid species have flowers meant to look like female wasps, so that male wasps attempt to mate with them. When they do this, pollen gets on the male wasp and he brings it with him when he hopefully tries to mate with another flower of that species. There are about as many pollinator relationships as there are plants, so that's just a few for you. Let me know in the comments what your favorite pollinator is, and don't forget to like and subscribe. If you'd like more plant science content, check out www.brilliantbotany.com. Thanks so much for watching, I'll see you next time.