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The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Love Zucchini? Buy it for the Bees!

Vibrant 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.

Buy 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.

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?