4 of North Carolina’s Oddest Pollinators (They Aren’t Bees)

— Written By

Editor’s Note: This is a post from Elsa Youngsteadt, an entomology research associate at NC State. This post is part of our NC Knowledge List series, which taps into NC State’s expertise on all things North Carolina.

Checkered beetle on a Venus flytrap blossom

Checkered beetle on a Venus flytrap blossom. Photo credit: Elsa Youngsteadt.

With all the fuss about bee health and pollinator protection in the news over the past few years, it’s easy to slip up and start using the word “pollinator” interchangeably with the word “bee.” It’s true that bees—including more than 500 species in North Carolina—are, collectively, important pollinators. But they’re not the only animals capable of moving pollen from flower to flower.

Indeed, globally, non-bee insects complement the activity of bees and contribute nearly as much to crop pollination as bees do. But some plants depend especially on non-bees, and North Carolina has its own menagerie of oddball pollinators and the plants that require them—or at least benefit from them. Here are four.

Read the entire article and view NC’s oddest pollinators.