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In through the back door

While traipsing through the farmer’s market last weekend, I met a beekeeper with an interesting question. Having heard that honey bees are poor pollinators of alfalfa, she wanted to know where alfalfa honey comes from. How does that work? Honey bees are, indeed, second-rate pollinators when it comes to alfalfa. When the bee sits on […] Read more

Do Brussels sprouts need pollination?

Some questions surprise me because they reappear so frequently, but what is it with Brussels sprouts? For decades I’ve heard nothing about Brussels sprouts, but suddenly every third visitor wants to know how to pollinate them. I do not understand. I endure Brussels sprouts mostly because my husband likes them and they are good for […] Read more

Do honey bees pollinate wheat?

No. Grasses are flowering plants that are wind pollinated. Since the grasses do not need to attract animal pollinators, the plants do not expend energy to produce colorful petals, nectars, or attractive odors. However, the grass family feeds a large portion of the human population. According to the Food and Agriculture Association (FAO), the big […] Read more

Things we forget to remember

Thanksgiving Day in the United States is traditionally celebrated with an over-sized meal based on a stuffed turkey. Since the turkey always takes center stage, many refer to it as “turkey day.” However, to be fair, we should call it “bee day.” Think about bees as you eat broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, squash, turnips, […] Read more