Many types of pollination: take the quiz

We beekeepers are enthralled with bee pollinators, but the natural world is brimming with different types of pollination. Many animals pollinate flowers, but the major pollinator is the wind. Even flowing water can be a pollinator.

In this quiz, I list twelve types of pollination. Although many overlap—such as insect pollinators and bee pollinators—some are distinct groups. See if you can match the word with the pollinators. It’s not as easy as it sounds!

In order to see the answers at the end of the quiz, please respond to all the questions.


Anemophily is pollination by ______.


Cantharophily is pollination by ______.


Chiropterophily is pollination by ______.


Entomophily is pollination by ______.


Hydrophily is pollination by ______.


Malacophily is pollination by ______.


Melittophily is pollination by ______.


Myophily is pollination by ______.


Ornithophily is pollination by ______.


Phalaenophily is pollination by ______.


Psychophily is pollination by ______.


Zoophily is pollination by ______.

Of all types of pollination, wind is the most common.

Of all the types of pollination, wind is the most common. Pixabay photo.

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  • Hah! Even cheating I missed one.
    I really only knew half. And by ‘knew’ I mean had a good guess based on roots.
    So why isn’t ‘psychophily’ pollination by crazy people? Seems like something we might do.

  • He he, managed to get them all. Some I knew, some I deducted, and the rest were pure guesswork

  • Oi oi oi Rusty, very very good quiz, this made me work, I had to google a few of them as well and even got deeper into the plant round leaf bindweed that is pollinated by snails. I hope some of this new knowledge sticks in my brain…. Thank you

  • Hi Rusty,

    That was awesome. Is there a way to make this printable? I would love to share this at our local club meeting.

  • Way to stretch and grow my brain neurons – yay!! I got 100%, but must confess I only knew 3.5. I counted one as a half as I suspected a connection between a root and something I knew but had to do Internet search to confirm. Thank you, Rusty!

  • Following your instructions on asking questions through posts rather than your “contact me” page so this comment/question is totally unrelated to your most recent article so here goes.

    I follow several bee-related social media sites and have noted several reports of colonies “absconding” but the beekeeper finds the queen and a few workers remaining in the hive. In most of the incidents I’ve seen they are apparently healthy hives that have been properly monitored and treated for mites so mite load doesn’t seem to be the issue. Any thoughts on why this would occur or what would provoke it to happen?

    • David,

      It’s nearly always about the mites. Please read, “Absconding bees or death by varroa?

      Suicide is a human thing, but absconding by a bee colony just before winter would be suicide. It very rarely happens. You hit the reason in your question when you said, “apparently” healthy. If a colony was recently treated for mites it may appear healthy, but if the viruses that kill bees are already spread throughout the colony, killing the mites will not help. Indeed, as the viruses have gotten more and more lethal, it doesn’t take a high infestation rate to bring down a colony.

      In any case, it’s not absconding if the queen is left behind. Absconding means the entire colony left. The entire colony did not leave if the queen wasn’t with them, so it doesn’t even meet the definition of absconding.