What would our meals be like without bumblebees?                                 

Breakfast would be boring, lunch would be lame and dinner would be dull!

Bumblebees play a vital role in pollinating our favourite foods.

To celebrate National Insect Week - and to highlight the important work of our furry friends - we asked members of the public to send us their favourite recipes packed with bee-pollinated foods.

 

Homemade strawberry jam tarts
From Helen Allan

Ingredients:

1kg of washed strawberries, hulled and crushed
800g caster sugar
4 tablespoons of lemon juice

Directions:

(1) Combine all ingredients and cook over a low heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil for a few minutes until the jam forms 'crinkles' when placed on a cold plate.
(2) Pour mixture into a bowl and put in the fridge to cool.
(3) Use the jam to fill shortcrust pastry cases and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Easy chilli vegetables
From Sue Hodges

Ingredients:

Quantities according to taste
Courgette, aubergine, butternut squash, red and green pepper, tomatoes, chilli peppers,  basil leaves.

Directions:

(1) Cut the courgettes, aubergine, squash and peppers into one-inch pieces , sprinkle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste, and roast at 180C for 30 mins, giving an occasional shake.
(2) Skin tomatoes by dipping in boiled water for a minute, and then skin will rub off. Heat tomatoes with finely chopped chilli and basil, and heat for 10 minutes.
(3) Add tomato sauce to roast vegetables, stir, then return to oven for 15 minutes.

Lavender Scones
From Home Herbals

Ingredients:

375g self raising flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
80g butter
250ml milk (may also use lavender infused milk)
2 teaspoons fresh or 1 tsp dried lavender flowers

Directions:

(1) Preheat oven to 220 C
(2) Place the lavender flowers in a blender/food processor/herb grinder for a few seconds to turn them into a course powder.
(3) Combine the flour, sugar and lavender in a medium size bowl.
(4) Add the butter, and with your fingertips, combine until the mixture reaches the consistency of fine breadcrumbs.
(5) Add the milk, and blend the mixture together.
(6) Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until it forms a soft dough.
(7) Flatten dough until it is approximately 2cm thick.
(8) Using scone cutter (or glass) cut the dough into shapes.
(9) Lightly dust baking sheet with self raising flour, and place the scone shapes onto the baking sheet, placing them 1 cm apart.
(10) Lightly brush with milk
(11) Bake in a preheated oven for 14-16 minutes or until cooked through.
(12) Place on wire racks to cool.
(13) Enjoy!

If you're thinking of making your own recipes with bee-pollinated foods, here's a list to help you:

Almonds, Apples, Apricots, Aubergines

Blackberries, Black Currants, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Brazil Nuts, Broad beans, Butternut Squash

Cashews, Cherries, Chilli Peppers, Courgettes, Cranberries, Cucumbers

Kiwi Fruit                                                                                                                                                 

Nectarines

Passion Fruit, Peaches, Peas, Pears, 

Raspberries, Red Currants, Runner BeansPeppers, Plums, Potatoes, Pumpkins  

Strawberries, Sunflowers

Tangerines, Tomatoes

Water Melons

“Bumblebees are one of the most endearing insect visitors to any garden. Their furry, colourful bodies and clumsy flight always raise a smile, but they also do an essential job. Without their pollination services many flowers would produce no seeds, and fruit and vegetable yields would suffer.”

Toby Buckland
TV gardener

Toby Buckland
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