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Pollinators help produce $20 billion worth of food crops annually.

Bathing In Pollen by Donna Ahrend.

Posted June 19, 2013. Photo courtesy of Donna Ahrend.

“For bees, the flower is the fountain of life.
For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.”
~Kahlil Gibran

From tomatoes and squash to kiwis and almonds, bees and other wildlife play an important role in pollinating major crops. Bees visit flowers for nectar, pick up pollen from the anthers (male parts) and transfer the pollen when they visit the next flower. Some bees also use pollen for food.

But many bees are disappearing. For example, each winter, more than one-third of honeybee colonies are lost due to habitat loss, pesticide exposure, parasites and disease. Fortunately, urban gardens can provide good nutrition and shelter to help bees.

Discover how to make pollinator-friendly gardens in pots and around your lawn at the Botanic Garden’s Pollinator Celebration on Sunday, June 23. Talk to scientists and watch pollinators in action while you learn about the connection between pollinators and our food and health.

What's your favorite bee-pollinated food? Chocolate, apples, coffee, watermelon... Join the conversation on Facebook.

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