Believe it or not, but pollinators and their service of pollination are worth more than the billions of dollars made annually in agriculture value. They also have a great, and unmeasurable economical and ecological value. It is extremely difficult to estimate or assign a monetary value to the pollination services in the wild. This is a result of the lack of base knowledge and information on pollinator communities and the vast numbers involved.

As humans we depend on the natural world to sustain our lives. The ecosystem provides us with many important services, including climate regulation, soil production, water purification, pest control and crop pollination.

Pollination, as is well known, is key to the food industry. Practically everything is connected to pollination in some way, from the grains that are wind-pollinated, pollinated seeds that produce crops, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as animal products, like beef, pork and dairy, which also feed on animal-pollinated products. We also rely on pollination for beneficial drugs, essences, oils, fibres and fuel. With this huge dependence on pollinations to meet our needs, it is maybe easier to understand how these species are considered to be the backbone of our ecosystems.

Pollinators are considered to be keystone species in the world's ecosystems. This means that without the many pollinator species, ecosystem as a whole would be in great trouble and probably collapse. Pollinators communities help maintain balance in nature and are vital for sustaining a healthy ecosystems

Most ecosystems depend on pollinators for stability in the food web, and the whole food chain of life. The best way to illustrate pollinators' importance in the wild all over the world is by giving the following example of the fig.

The fig tree is a key species in tropical ecosystems. The tree's foliage supports a variety of insects, for example butterfly larvae. The fig fruit is food for many different types of birds, including toucans and parrots, and for bats, monkeys and sometimes fish (in nearby rivers). The fig tree itself give habitat to a diversity of insects, rodents, reptiles and amphibians. A tree that supports so much life is not independent of anything else. It depends on a certain wasp for the pollination of its fruit and seed -- in other words -- for its reproduction. The entire food chain just described is in the "hands" of two species of fig wasps. Without the specific pollinator the food chain would fall apart and in turn would affect the rest of the tropical ecosystem.

It is important to note that pollinators as adults are part of a different food web then when they are in the early developmental stages of life. Grubs (young bees and wasps), maggots (young flies), and caterpillars (young moths and butterflies) rely on a very different food source and have different predators then when they are fully developed adults.

You may wish to download a paper called Raising Awareness Among Canadians About Plant Pollinators

Learn more about Pollen and Flowers