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Love Zucchini? Buy it for the Bees!

BuzzVibrant green zucchinis are the produce poster children for summer gardens because they’re easy to grow and extremely productive. Haven’t we all had that gardening neighbor or co-worker who tries to give away a bushel of zukes before they take over the kitchen?

Ever Heard of Squash Bees?

Behind every great squash there has to be a strong pollinator—or, in this case, a whole slew of pollinators. Zucchinis are visited by honey bees and bumble bees, but they also rely on native bees called squash bees.

Squash bees wake up early, when squash blossoms are just beginning to open. Sometimes they even spend the night inside closed squash blossoms so they can get a jump on the next morning’s pollen.

Share the BuzzBuy Organic Squash, Help Pollinators

Like all wildlife, squash bees are impacted by changes in the landscape that affect their habitat. In order to support at-risk pollinators (and all the delicious crops they make possible), Whole Foods Market® has teamed up with the Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to wildlife conservation.

You can join our collaboration! Through June 25, for every pound of organic summer squash purchased by shoppers, 10¢ will be donated to the Xerces Society’s efforts to preserve pollinator habitat.

Get the Most from Your Summer Squash

I’m a big fan of grated zucchini, because that’s how my mama used to make it. As a mother myself, I’ve noticed that grated zukes—like the ones in this recipe for Fusilli Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and “Hidden” Zucchini—are a great way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables.

Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Vinaigrette

Zucchini really shines on summertime grills. Grilled Zucchini with Kalamata Vinaigrette can be a side dish or a salad topper. Save any leftovers for a yummy grilled veggie sandwich.

For a cooling no-cook twist, try Raw Vegetable “Pasta” with Tomatoes and Herbs.

What’s your favorite way to serve up summer’s bounty of zucchini and other squash?

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Renee says …

what a great idea! you should have a local TV crew do a story on the squash bees. There is a bee-keeping program c/o Lake Farm Parks. we are sooo losing our bee population & in the midwest & northwest states its a big problem. Hope there's a place to send bigger donation @ WFM to support this project! Thanks for the program & hope to see more of them...for a cause! :-)

Mary Jane Santamaria says …

Thanks for the recipie. I have a Vegetarian cousin who I am having for dinner and this solves the problem of what to make. Perfect and with a side salad this makes my dinner complete and very gourmet.

Sharon says …

Do you carry Julians breads

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@SHARON - Our products vary between stores so check with your local store to see what they have in stock!

Shari says …

Sauté chopped squash/zucchini etc. with chopped onion, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes in a splash of grape seed oil until tender. While veggies sauté heat up vegan vegetable salt free broth about 2 cups, add to blender along with cooked squash and blend to desired creamy goodness…delicious hot or cold with fresh bread or a garden salad.

Mary says …

I had a recipe for a zucchini ans squash casserole that you cooked in the microwave. Surprisingly good considering it was cooked in the microwave. Wish I could find the recipe.

Lily of the Valley says …

My dad and grand-dad had large organic gardens for decades, and of course they always grew the best zucchini, tomatoes and other veggies. On several occassions my dad would come into the house launghing while holding 3-4 giant overgrown zucchini. He would say to my mom, "These weren't there yesterday, but I'm sure that they wouldl make fantastic zucchini breads," My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer 10 years ago, however our favorite photo of him is where he has a huge smile on his face and he is holding 3 two foot zucchini he just picked from his garden.