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More than 75 percent of all flowering plants are pollinated by insects, birds, and other animals. Photo by: Max.OppoThe process begins when a bee or other animal picks up pollen from the male part of a flower, called the stamen (small yellow parts). Photo by: E. Johnson Pollination occurs when the pollen is moved to the female part, or stigma, of the same or another flower and fertilizes it, resulting in the production of fruits and seeds (note stigma in center of flower). Photo by: K. MattesonSome animals, such as many bees, intentionally collect pollen. The protein-rich pollen is fed to developing bee larvae. Photo by: K. Matteson. Other pollinators, such as many butterflies and birds, move pollen incidentally because the pollen sticks on their body while they are collecting nectar from flowers. Photo by: E. Johnson

Great Pollinator Project

Without pollinators, most flowering plants could not reproduce. One-third of our food plants, from tomatoes and squash to apples and almonds, depend on the services of a pollinator. Bees are the most important pollinators in the northeastern U.S.—more than 225 bee species have been recorded in New York City alone. To learn more about pollination, watch the slide show, above.

The Great Pollinator Project was launched to learn more about bees and other pollinators in New York City and find ways to improve habitat for them. Rural farmers aren’t the only people who depend on the services of bees and other pollinators. City dwellers do, too. Most plants in community gardens, parks, and urban natural areas rely on bees to move pollen from flower to flower so that the plants can reproduce. Fortunately, because insect pollinators are tiny, there is much that can be done in urban environments to support them, even in small habitat patches.

On this site you can:

Learn more about native bees and other pollinators in New York City and beyond.

Find out how to grow a pollinator garden.

Find out how to volunteer in a citizen science pollinator project.

Read about the results of the Bee Watcher citizen science project.

If you are a land manager or gardener working for a city agency or other organization, you can use this site to find technical resources about pollinator conservation in the region

Finally, if you are a teacher or parent, you’ll find links to useful programs and curricula about pollinators and their needs