female-squash-bee-with-pollen_E Youngsteadt

female squash bee with pollen, photo by E. Youngsteadt


We’re kicking off National Pollinator Week with waffles! Wait, what? Yes, waffles. Not just any waffles though – zucchini waffles! We’re doing this in support of a very specific and extremely helpful bee native to North America: the Squash Bee, belonging to the two Peponapis and Xenoglossa genera.

Hearing your garden bed zooming and buzzing more than usual as those squash blossoms bloom? Squash bees are essential pollinators of squash – from your abundant zucchini to your funky fall and winter gourds.


Some facts about the Squash Bee:

  • They are solitary bees, meaning they do not belong to or reside with a hive.
  • Their only source of pollen is that found in squash blossoms.
  • These bees have the dark brown/black and yellow stripes similar to the coloring of honeybees.
  • The female squash bee is the pollen forager while the males simply search for mates.
  • They nest in small ground burrows.
  • Females collect pollen on their fuzzy back legs.
Male squash bee

Male squash bee (long, thick antennae. also face seems larger, hairier.)  © 2009 Ron Hemberger

Before European Colonizers brought honeybees to North America, “…squash bees were busy aiding the adoption, domestication, spread, and production of squashes and gourds by indigenous peoples throughout the Americas.” – US Forest Service

This buzzing species has been a busy and productive one when you think about all of the zucchini and butternut squash we get to enjoy each year! The least we can do for them is eat some yummy waffles. And don’t forget to support this species by planting more squash in your home garden.


  • Squash Bee Coloring page  (Download squash bee coloring page)
  • Play pin the bee on the squash blossom below
  • Make Zucchini Blueberry Waffles with the recipe below!
  • Share with us what you learned in the comments!

Zucchini Blueberry Waffles


1 cup shredded zucchini
1 1/3 cups milk or non-dairy milk (oat or almond work best)
2 Tbsps. olive oil (melted coconut or vegetable oil work as well)
1 ½ cups flour
1 cup oats
2 eggs (or flax egg replacement)
1 tsp. vanilla
Squirt of lemon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup blueberries


  1. Preheat your waffle iron. If making pancakes, preheat your skillet with oil or butter.
  2. Grate your zucchini and with a towel, squeeze out all water from the zucchini.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all wet ingredients, including the zucchini.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
  5. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the large bowl with the wet zucchini mixture and combine well.

*If you want to add the blueberries into the waffles, stir in evenly in with the combined waffle batter. Or you can leave them out of the batter to put on top of your cooked waffles as a topping.

  1. Ladle the batter onto the hot waffle iron or skillet and cook evenly.
  2. Serve with powdered sugar and maple syrup or your favorite seasonal preserves, and thank the squash bees with every bite!

Check back tomorrow for Monarch Butterflies!