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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Best Management Practices > Pollinators and Their Habitat > Pollinator Facts

Pollinator Facts


About three-quarters of the more than 240,000 flowering plants throughout the world rely on pollinators.

Insects, birds, bats, and other animals – to varying degrees – carry pollen for plant reproduction.

According to a National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council study:

  • Globally, pollinators are fundamentally important for the production of roughly 30% of the human  diet and many fibers. 
  • Domesticated honey bees enable the production of no fewer than 90 commercially grown crops. 
  • Important fruit crops that are 100% reliant on insect pollination, include Minnesota’s apple and blueberry crops. 
  • The annual value of honey bee pollination to US agriculture has been estimated to be $18.9 billion. 
  • Pollinators are important part of food web and are vital for sustaining healthy ecosystems.

Many explanations have been invoked to account for the pollinator declines in North America including:

  • Exposure to pathogens, parasites, and pesticides 
  • Habitat fragmentation and loss, resulting in poor nutrition and nesting sites 
  • Climate change 
  • Market forces 
  • Specific competition with native and invasive species and 
  • Genetic alterations.

Bees & Honey