The U.S. needs more beekeepers and bees.
This year’s rough winter conditions across the country, coupled with the continued effects of Colony-Collapse Disorder, have hit the beekeeping industry hard. The shortage is sending almond farmers scrambling to find enough hives to pollinate the almond orchards in California this month — something that generally commands more than half the honeybees in the U.S. to accomplish.
Ice cream giant Haagen-Dazs has been at the forefront of bee awareness campaigns for several years — especially since more than 50 percent of the brand’s flavors are bee-built, meaning they use ingredients pollinated by the bees. Today they announced a new campaign to keep the hobby of beekeeping — and the hive — alive and buzzing. Their first goal: to overturn the New York City Health Department’s ban on beekeeping, set to be reviewed on March 16, 2010.
According to a release, lifting the ban would allow city residents to keep bees without the risk of violating the current health code and being fined $2,000. The Health Department currently considers honey bees to be wild animals.
“More beekeepers means more honey bees, and that’s what we need right now,” says Dennis vanEngelsdorp, former president of Apiary Inspectors of America and Haagen-Dazs Bee Board member. “By allowing New York City residents to keep bees without penalty, more people will be encouraged to take up this hobby that’s both rewarding and important for our troubled bee population. Good pollinator health is crucial for all of us.”
To find out more about the company’s creative campaign to get people involved in the life of bees, hit their official site here.