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What’s All The Buzz About?

6 Oct

Bees are pretty powerful insects packed into a little size. No I’m not talking about the pain of their sting! I’m actually referring to the important role they play in helping to make our food. Bees pollinate the flowers of many of the delicious foods we love to eat— fruits, nuts, and plants.

Their roles in helping to make our food are so important that every year, about 1 million hives of honey bees (nearly half the population) are trucked to the almond orchards in California each spring for pollination. New York’s apple crop requires about 30,000 hives and Maine’s blueberry crop uses about 50,000 hives each year.

 

Image Courtesy of MorgueFile

But in the past few years, bees have been mysteriously disappearing leading to front-page headlines questioning why. So far, researchers believe that one in three honey bee colonies have died. One reason that researchers have come across is Colony Collapse Disorder or “CCD”. When a hive experiences CCD, the honey bees mysteriously desert their hive and die. CCD symptoms have been reported by more than thirty-five states across the U.S. and in many other countries. Possible factors contributing to the problem include viruses, mites, chemical exposure and poor nutrition.

Haagen-Dazs has taken note of the sudden bee catastrophe, ultimately because TONS of their delicious ingredients are all in thanks to bees, but also because they are committed to helping get the bee population back on track as well as educating their customers about how to help. They started the Save The Honey Bee Foundation to help educate their customers and to donate to the research groups at two universities that are hoping to solve the crisis. So far, Haagen-Dazs has donated:

  • $275,000 to Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences
  • $225,000 to University of California at Davis, Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility

You can check out their website to see what those funds are being used for!

These are all of the  Bee-Built ingredients that Haagen-Dazs uses:

  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Cranberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Pears
  • Peaches
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Mango
  • Passion Fruit
  • Pomegranates
  • Coconuts
  • Mint
  • Peppermint
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Peanuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Almonds
  • Hazelnuts

 

So how can YOU help out?

  • Respect the bee. Scared of bees? Don’t be! There much more interested in making their delicious honey, pollinating flowers and being part of their little bee hive than in stinging you. And as Phoebe from Friends taught us all, a bee dies after it stings a human. So leave them be! If a hive is somewhere that’s an inconvenience to you, then call you local bee peeps who will remove the hive consciously and relocate it to a bee friendly area.
  • Bee Friendly. If you live in a house and take care of your own lawn, take a few steps to becoming more friendly towards the bees. Cut back on pesticides and fertilizers as these chemicals are lethal to bees and they can weaken their immune systems, allowing parasites, disease and other stresses to finish them off.
  • Bee Beautiful. Bees need plants for nectar and pollen so consider planting some beautiful new flowers. They’re attracted to blue, purple and yellow flowers, and you can always consult your neighborhood nursery on which kind of plants are best for bees. Consider also putting a beautiful birdbath in your lawn, as bees need water to survive and enjoy shallow, calm sources.
  • Support the Bee. Haagen-Dazs will continue to support their foundation as long as they’re still in business. Consider trying their delicious Vanilla Honey Bee flavor! They also have a store with t-shirts like the cute one above. You can also buy honey that is locally raised, as well as support products that are made of beeswax from a company that is supporting the research of bees!

Haagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee

 

Burt’s Bees Medicated Lip Balm $4

 

Beeswax Lipbalm