- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
"More than beautiful, monarch butterflies contribute to the health of our planet. While feeding on nectar, they pollinate many types of wildflowers.--National Park Service.
Have you ever seen pollen on a monarch butterfly?
This morning a male migrating monarch, probably on its way to coastal California to an overwintering site, stopped at a Vacaville garden to sip some nectar on a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifola).
If you look closely, you can see the gold pollen.
Monarchs are not just iconic species facing a population decline, they're pollinators.
"Pollinator species, such as bees, other insects, birds and bats play a critical role in producing more than 100 crops grown in the United States," according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Honey bee pollination alone adds more than $18 billion in value to agricultural crops annually."