Sidebars adapted from James H. Cane, Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea:Apiformes) published in the Encyclopedia of Entomology,
2008. Vol. 2, pages 419-434
When we observe animals pollinating nearly 90 percent of the plant species found on earth, we are witnessing a process more than 250 million years in the making. Sexual reproduction among plants, from a botanical standpoint, is nothing more than the transfer of pollen grains from a flower’s male anthers to a flower’s female stigmas, enabling fertilization. Once transferred, pollen grains germinate, grow pollen tubes into the plant’s ovaries, and deliver gametes to produce seed and endosperm.