This Thanksgiving, bee sure to give a lil thanks to our beesties the bees! Many don’t know, but a large amount of the food we eat is either directly, or indirectly thanks to our buzz-worthy friends. As far as our Thanksgiving feast, you would say adios to a majority of favorites if not for the bee’s work. Here are a few of the favorites we rely on bees for. Squash Butternut, zucchini, summer, spaghetti, and acorn all rely on the bees. The flowers of squash are unisexual, requiring the movement of pollen from male to female flower. In commercial squash pollination, honeybees are required to do the job, however native bees, commonly known as "squash bees", are common in native, wild habitats. Brussel sprouts Belonging to the Brassicaceae family, Brussel sprouts, along with broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collard greens, and cabbage all rely on pollination in order to grow! Pumpkin Pumpkins are pollinated by both bees and ants! The flowers are tricky to pollinate though, as they are only open during a short time. If they bloom too early or too late, there is a chance there will be no bees, which means no pollination, unless done so by hand. Cranberries No bees? No cranberry sauce!! Yep, just like many other fruits, cranberries are not self-pollinating. Because of the need for bees, large-scale cranberry farmers in the United States have begun contracting out migratory honeybees and bumblebees to help the pollination! Sweet Potato Sweet potatoes, like squash, aren’t self-pollinating, meaning they need love from the bees in order to produce! No bees mean no sweet P mash, or Sweet P pie!! #thankyou bees! Stuffing Traditional stuffing is made of bread, which in turn has many ingredients that are pollinated by bees! Many seeds, nuts and even some types of grains need some bee love, and without them, all the bread options you would have is wonder bread or a bland whole wheat! Apples In the stuffing, or on in the pie, apples play a large role in our feast! Honestly, is it even a Thanksgiving if there is no apple pie, or apple crumble! Thanks to the bees, we won't have to experience that! Herbs We don’t really think of it, but without herbs, we would have no flavor. Imagine your turkey with no rosemary or the green beans with no oregano! Without the bees we wouldn’t have that Thanksgiving flavor we all think about year round! Gravy Many people have stepped away from the white flour, and now use other sources of flour, like almond, or tapioca, for their Thanksgiving gravy. Many of these alternative sources of flour rely on bees for pollination. No bees would mean no healthy gravy… and we are not about that processed white flour life! Turkey Don’t worry, we aren’t going to try to convince you that the bees pollinate turkeys… but bees do pollinate many grains and seeds that are fed to the turkey! Without them, farmers would have to use corn or single-sourced grain, which wouldn’t give the turkey the wide variety of nutrients needed for a Thanksgiving-worthy bird! While not all of these ingredients rely on bees directly, they are all somewhat affected by the health of the bee population. Without bees, we would have a very different Thanksgiving plate, and many of our favorites would go missing. As you grab that spoonful of gravy or go for that second piece of pumpkin pie, make sure you give a lil thanks to our friends the bees!
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