Thank you all for your support of the Great Sunflower Project and for your interest in our newsletter. We received a number of comments identifying some factual errors in our most recent newsletter piece on pollinators and traditional Thanksgiving food. I would like to take this opportunity to make some corrections to our last newsletter. The newsletter implied that pumpkins, cranberries and apples were not available to pilgrims because honey bees had not arrived in North America by 1621. In fact, as several of you pointed out, pumpkins and cranberries were available and the bees responsible for pollinating them were some of our species of native bees. From what I have been able to glean from the literature, apples were not here, not because of a lack of pollinators, but because they were not brought to North America until several years after the first Thanksgiving.
One of the main goals of the Great Sunflower Project is to educate about the importance of our native bees. The better way to have presented this story might have been to point out that without native bees, the first Thanksgiving meal would have been missing much of its variety and that bee pollinators remain essential to the production of many foods we enjoy during holidays.
We also strive to only present accurate scientific information and to do so as clearly as possible. In this, we failed. We will do better. Have a wonderful holiday.
The Queen Bee