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Pollinators and the Roadside

Managing WSDOT Roadsides to Benefit Pollinators

What is Pollination?

Pollination
Photo Credit: Kelly McAllister

Pollination is the act of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma.

Flowers must rely on vectors to move pollen. These vectors can include wind, water, birds, insects, butterflies, bats, and other animals that visit flowers. We call animals or insects that transfer pollen from plant to plant “pollinators”.

Pollination is usually the unintended consequence of an animal’s activity on a flower. The pollinator is often eating or collecting pollen for its protein and other nutritional characteristics or it is sipping nectar from the flower when pollen grains attach themselves to the animal’s body. When the animal visits another flower for the same reason, pollen can fall off onto the flower’s stigma and may result in successful reproduction of the flower. (Source: USDA Forest Service)

Pollinators, like bees, rely on different sources of pollen so diversity of pollen sources is critical to pollinator health.  There are many pollinator species that need different types of habitat so diversity of habitat within and adjacent to our right of way is critical.

Learn more

Meet the Pollinators

Animal pollinators play a crucial role in flowering plant reproduction and in the production of most fruits and vegetables.

The secret bond of the partnership is that neither plant nor pollinator populations can exist in isolation – should one disappear, the other is one generation away from disaster.

Follow the links below to learn about these very important pollinators and the flowers they visit (Source: USDA Forest Service):
Ants
Bats
Bees
Beetles
Birds
Butterflies
Flies
Moths
Unusual
Wasps

Contact for this page

Marion Carey
Fish and Wildlife Program Manager
360-705-7404