Nothing screams Halloween more than pumpkins. I love to see the scary jack-o-lanterns lit-up and lined up on porches all over my neighborhood. This year, I decided to try something new. Instead of carving a scary face, I would carve a bee!
Why? To bring awareness to the fact that bees pollinate pumpkins. Not just honey bees, but wild bees, squash bees and bumble bees all work hard to make sure we can celebrate the holidays by either carving our favorite scary face on a pumpkin, drinking a pumpkin spice latte or just making a yummy pumpkin pie.
The science behind the pumpkin pollination is so fascinating. So, for all you science lovers (me): Here is how it works.
For most plants, both male and female parts are in one flower. Pumpkins are neat because they have both a male and a female flower on each plant. It’s only when both the male and female flowers are open that pollination happens. And can you believe the female flower is only open for one day? That combined with the fact that the female flower needs approximately 15 bee visits for successful pollination, means that there is only a small window of opportunity for bee visits and pollination. Pumpkin growers know the best method for pollinating their crops is to try to encourage bees by planting bee-friendly flowers nearby that attract them!
Unfortunately, because there are fewer and fewer bees each season, growers sometimes need to hand pollinate the female flowers. That sounds expensive! Our fuzzy friends are the littlest and biggest links in our food chain and they need our helps to stay healthy and productive. Have you read my 5 easy ways to save the bees? Click here:
Get busy today and don't forget to Buy a bottle…Save a Bee