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Important pollinating insects

For most people, the word “pollinator” probably brings to mind bees and bumblebees. But there are many other insects that assist with pollination. Many wild bees and butterflies play a key role in pollination, and mosquitoes and flies also help pollinate plants such as cocoa and skunk cabbage. Pollinating insects can be categorised as superorganisms or solitary organisms. A superorganism is a group of individuals that each perform specialised tasks for the benefit of the whole group. Examples of social insect colonies include bumblebees, honeybees and ants. A solitary organism is an individual that rears its offspring alone after mating. Solitary organisms may be either diurnal (active in daytime) or nocturnal (active at night), and all have their own speciality.

Common to all pollinating insects is that they fly from flower to flower in search of food. They need to visit thousands of flowers every day to get the energy they need to feed themselves and rear their offspring.

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