The answer may surprise you: flies are important to pollination! You might have noticed that flies pollinate some of our favorite foods, including pepper and chocolate. But did you know that flies can help in other ways, too? In this article, you’ll learn about the many ways that flies help pollinate different types of crops.
Most flowers are visited by a variety of pollinating insects, including flies. Although they don’t have the hairy bodies of bees, flies still transfer pollen. Insects like blowflies and hoverflies visit blooms and feed on pollen, which gives them energy and fuel. Some of the larger flies can collect hundreds of pieces of pollen.
While bees actively collect pollen and bring it back to their hive, flies spend their time on the flowers, sipping the nectar. Pollen sticks to their bodies and travels with them to the next flower. Since the flies must stay warm to take flight, some plants have developed ways to keep them warm.
In addition to flowering plants, flies also help to pollinate plants that produce fruits and vegetables. For example, flowers like apricots, avocados, and mangoes are pollinated by flies. The flies that visit these plants prefer white flowers with open structures and scents of decomposing plants.