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  • 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

  • Thanks so much for watching, I'll see you next time.

Hey guys, welcome to episode 13 of Brilliant Botany on YouTube. In today's video I'm going

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