Flies help pollinate many different plants, including flowers and vegetables. Most species of flies don’t carry pollen to the hive; they simply visit flowers to drink nectar. The pollen they do carry is incidental. Because many species of flies have hairs on their bodies, pollen sticks to their hairs and moves with them from one flower to the next. Adult flies are much less energetic, so they’re not dedicated to racing between flowers. Instead, they bask in the flowers and remain active in low temperatures. Many plants have evolved ways to help flies stay warm during flight, such as making their blossoms smell putrid to attract pollinators.
As the global population continues to increase, a growing number of people are discovering ways to make use of flies for pollination. By attracting them to fields and orchards, they can be used to pollinate crops. This is especially important as the world’s food supply will depend on managed pollinators in the future.
The most commonly known pollinators are bees and butterflies, but flies also play an important role. Over two hundred species of flies help plant life by pollinating a wide range of plants. While bees and butterflies have a major impact on crop production, flies are a vital part of the ecosystem. In the springtime, they’re active and provide more consistent pollination than their bee cousins.