Critical to pollination, butterflies and honeybees help move pollen with their hairy legs and sticky bodies from the anthers of one flower to the stigmas of others.
While some flowers develop seeds by self-pollination — when the pollen and pistil are from the same plant – others require cross-pollination — when the pollen and pistil are from different ones.
That’s why honeybees and butterflies (among other insects and animals) play an indispensable role in the survival of flowers: they are important cross-pollinators.
It’s no surprise then that the rapidly declining numbers of honeybees and butterflies (particularly the Monarch Butterfly) has been raising alarm bells in the past few years. If you remove honeybees and butterflies from the pollination equation, the outlook becomes grim for the future and health of flowers.
So, as you tour the garden, take some time to observe the Monarch Butterfly waystation. Thank them while you’re there for what they give us and do!