Photo: NC State University

Meet The Pollinators!


Insects play a pivotal role in pollination, with bees, butterflies, beetles, flies, and more comprising the majority of pollinators. Bees are particularly noteworthy, as honeybees alone contribute to the pollination of numerous crops worldwide, playing a critical role in global food production. 

Birds & Mammals 

While insects are the main pollinators, certain birds & mammals also play a role in this crucial ecological process. Both bats and hummingbirds, with their nectar-seeking behavior, are key pollinators for specific plants, especially in tropical regions. In addition, small mammals like moles and rodents inadvertently assist in pollination by moving among flowers. 

Environmental Pollinators

Certain plants, like grasses and pine trees, rely on the wind for pollination. As their pollen is released into the air, the wind carries it to other plants.

Types of Pollination


Self-pollination refers to the transfer of pollen to the stigma within the same plant. This process can occur independently or with the help of external agents like wind or other pollinators. There are two types of self-pollination: Autogamy, which happens within the same flower, and Geitonogamy, where pollen is transferred to a different flower but on the same plant.


Cross-pollination involves the transfer of pollen from one plant's stigma to another plant's ovules. This process also relies on external agents such as wind or insects. Cross-pollination enhances genetic diversity within plant populations, promoting adaptability and evolution.

Photo: geeksforgeeks.org

Photo: Purdue University - Protecting Pollinators

Threats & Pressures

The decline of insect pollinators, who are vital for both crops and wild plants, poses global economic and environmental risks.

Human-induced threats to pollinators include:

How Can I Help?

Explore Different Gardening Approaches: 

Create a pollinator garden! A pollinator garden is a vibrant and purposeful space designed to attract and support pollinating insects, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

A pollinator garden should consist of native flora, featuring a mix of woody and soft-stemmed plants. It's crucial to curate a diverse plant selection that includes various flower shapes, colors, and sizes, accommodating the distinct tongue lengths of bees and fostering a vibrant and inclusive garden environment.

Avoid Pesticides:

Minimizing or eliminating the use of pesticides and herbicides has a significant positive impact on pollinator health and survival.

Advocate for Policy:

Support policies and regulations that protect pollinators and their habitats.

Photo: The pollinator garden at the Stratford Community Gardens in its early stages of creation, circa 2019 (Ken Linton, CBC).

SAWIG works alongside the Town of Stratford to manage two pollinator gardens - one is located at the Stratford Community Gardens (directly across from Robert Cotton Park), and the other is located off of St. George Crescent in Stonington.

NEW: Pollinator Interpretive Signs

Thank you to the Wildlife Conservation Fund for contributing funding and support for this project!


Abrol, D. P. (2011). Non Bee pollinators-plant interaction. Pollination Biology, 265–310. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1942-2_9

GeeksforGeeks. (2023, August 24). Difference between cross-pollination and self pollination. GeeksforGeeks. https://www.geeksforgeeks.org/difference-between-cross-pollination-and-self-pollination/

How to attract pollinators. David Suzuki Foundation. (2023, July 5). https://davidsuzuki.org/living-green/how-to-attract-pollinators/

Niklas, K. J. (1987). Aerodynamics of Wind Pollination. Scientific American, 257(1), 90–95. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24979425

Vanbergen, A. J., & Initiative, the I. (2013). Threats to an ecosystem service: Pressures on pollinators. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 11(5), 251–259. https://doi.org/10.1890/120126