My family enjoys going on picnics, we always have. Even when my husband and I were dating, we would go on picnics all of the time.
Have you ever thought about how your picnic would look without bees to pollinate crops? Yeah, me either until I was given this image courtesy of Whole Foods.
I received a gift card to facilitate this post.
Give Bees a Chance
Whole Foods running a “Give Bees a Chance” promotion to highlight the importance to bees for our very survival. They do more than just make honey!
Did you know that bees and other pollinators are necessary for over 2/3 of our world’s crops? Bees alone pollinate over 100 types of crops in the US including many summer favorites like berries, melons, peppers, and avocados.
Besides that, bees are needed for reproduction of clover and alfalfa – if we didn’t have that, what would cows eat for our dairy products and beef?
I was given the challenge to create my own picnic – one with foods pollinated by bees and one without. I had fun shopping at Whole Foods for delicious ingredients for my picnic.
The melon salsa was a nice way to incorporate fresh cantaloupe and watermelon with a little heat of jalapeno peppers and freshness of cilantro and red onion. It is delicious with tortilla chips, on a fresh garden salad, and as a topping on grilled chicken.
I don’t normally make macaroni salad, my family doesn’t like it too much. However, the Lemony Confetti Macaroni Salad sounded very tasty. It includes plenty of vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, and broccoli. Plus, it adds lemon juice and zest. Instead of heavy mayo, it has a light Greek yogurt and grated cheese dressing.
For my bees challenge, I paired these recipes with a hearty cold cut sandwich and grape juice. Check out the remarkable difference in my picnic with what it would look like today with all the produce available courtesy of pollinating bees compared to what it would look like without.
Which would you rather have? On the left was our picnic menu of macaroni salad loaded with veggies, melon salsa with delicious fruits, sandwich with lettuce and tomato, and organic grape juice to drink. On the right, only a plain sandwich with meat and plain macaroni was left…
Did you notice that even the picnic blanket is missing? Even cotton requires pollinators.
The Disappearing Bees
So, obviously we need bees. I had no idea that 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators.
So, why is Whole Foods making such a big deal? If you haven’t heard, bees are declining in numbers over the past several years. We are now at a declining rate of 30% or more annually. Speculators argue that factors like pesticides, loss of habitat, and parasites are reasons for such decline.
It is a very bland and pitiful world that we would live in without our little worker bees, wouldn’t it? What can we do to help?
How to Save the Bees
- Plant Flowers in different colors and bloom times to encourage bees.
- Give Bees Space by preserving brush piles and bare soil for bees to dig nests.
- Go Organic for a healthier ecosystems – buy organic and build your own organic garden at home.
- Support companies that support endangered pollinators like those at Whole Foods including a few of my favorites like Almond Breeze, Celestrial Seasonings, and Cascadian Farm Organic.
Learn more about the importance of bees and what you can do to help on the Whole Foods Website.