Pollinators are essential for biodiversity and our wider environment. They maintain the diversity of wildflowers and support healthy ecosystems, particularly by helping plants to produce fruits and seeds upon which birds and other animals rely. They are of enormous value to agriculture as well as public open spaces and ultimately our health and well-being.
There are at least 1,500 species of insect pollinators in the UK. Most are native species of bumblebees, solitary bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, beetles and flies. Of these the honeybee is normally kept as domestic stock managed in hives by beekeepers. Most pollination is carried out by insects, however there are numerous species such as birds, smaller foraging mammals and indeed humans that carry out supplementary pollination of plants.
Unfortunately, pollinators face many pressures, including habitat loss, pests and diseases, extreme weather, competition from invasive species, climate change and pesticide use.
Last updated 13 July 2023