The Most Wonderful Time of the Year…Thanks to the Bees

Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Holiday pollinator bees with santa hats

By: Charlotte Duren


The holiday season is a time for family and friends to come together in homes filled with festive flowers and delicious food.  In this season of giving, it is important to recognize honey bees and other pollinators – the little helper elves working away all year to help create some of the foods we enjoy during the holiday season.


Bees pollinate over 100 agricultural crops in the United States.* Here are some of the holiday crops we enjoy thanks to the bees:

  1. Cranberries
    Cranberries – a festive holiday fruit – that can be used to both decorate and to eat, rely on pollinators like the honey bee to reproduce.  Cranberries require several pollination visits to ensure delicious and plump cranberry development, so bees buzz around in cranberry bogs until mid-July. (via

  2. Poinsettias
    Poinsettias, like cranberries, cannot self-pollinate, so are reliant on bees for pollination.  

    Native to Central America, poinsettias are pollinated during the winter to create a better chance at a successful cross pollination between poinsettias. (via Home Guides)

  3. Pumpkin Pie
    From Halloween jack-o-lanterns to holiday pumpkin pie, the pumpkin really is the gourd that keeps on giving. Honey bees, and their relative the squash bee, help pollinate pumpkins. Some pumpkin farmers even hire honey bees to travel to pollinate their patches. (via Bayer CropScience)

  4. Holly
    Many people don’t know that only the female version of the holly plants bear berries. There are both male and female versions of the holly plant – and they need pollinators like the honey bee to pollinate. (via Walter Reeves)

  5. Mistletoe
    Christmas mistletoe (also known as American mistletoe) is just one of the more than 1,300 species of mistletoe worldwide.  Mistletoe flowers often provide the first pollen available in the spring for hungry bees. (via US Geological Survey)


Happy Holidays! Have a great holiday.  For more information on bee health, please visit and follow us on Twitter at @Bayer4CropsUS.


*fact via Ag Arizona Edu





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