We hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving holiday. There are so many things to be grateful for including the meals we ate over the holiday. While enjoying dinner with family, I started to wonder how much of the food on the table we could thank pollinators for. After a little research, I wanted to share this list of common holiday menu items and who pollinates them:
Almonds - Honey bees
Apples - Honey bees, blue mason orchid bees
Cardamom - Honey bees, solitary bees
Chocolate - Bees, flies
Coffee - Stingless bees, other bees, flies
Cranberries - 40+ bee species
Dairy - Dairy cows eat alfalfa pollinated by leaf cutter and honey bees
A leaf cutter bee on a sunflower in the Fort Collins foothills. Photo: Lisa Mason
Make Bee Homes for Holiday Gifts this Season
Need a unique gift for family and friends this holiday season? Consider making bee homes! About 30% of native bees are cavity nesters, which means they live in small holes and tunnels in trees, buildings and other crevices.
If you are not feeling crafty, you can always purchase a bee home as well.
It is a great educational opportunity for kids and adults to watch native bees nest within viewing distance. Female leafcutter bees will carry pieces of leaves into their nest to build a chamber for each egg they lay.
Leafcutter bees and other native cavity nesters are not aggressive, if you place the bee house near your home.
Bee homes don't need to complex. A block of wood with a variety of hole sizes up to 10mm will work. Photos: GardenCollege.com
Bee homes can also be a functional and artistic part of your backyard. Photo: ConcreteWheels.com
Scientists discover an underwater pollinator. A species of Caribbean seagrass can be pollinated by zooplankton and bottom-dwelling invertebrates. Until this discovery, it was thought that pollination in the ocean wasn't necessary, because the ocean currents and tides move pollen to marine plants.