by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals.


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.

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • Remy C.

    I highly recommend this documentary on the causes of the bee decline:

  • Allen

    Most beekeepers are really bee factory farmers and they are responsible for the collapse of bee colonies. Beekeepers impair bee immune systems by taking their food, honey, and replacing it with sugar water. They impair their immune systems by blowing nicotine smoke into their hives to subdue the bees when they steal their honey. They impair their immune systems when they truck the bee colonies hundreds of miles around the country so that farmers will pay beekeepers for helping to pollinate their crops. Meanwhile, the honeybee, a non-native and deliberately introduced invasive species, is driving native pollinators to extinction – including insects, birds and other animals.

    If we really want to save the bees, protect biodiversity and the human food supply, we really need to stop supporting beekeepers.

    Thank you Remy for the link to the documentary about this same topic.

  • Sonia

    Thanks for the info guys. I have to say that, as a vegan, I’m really not to well versed on the effects on bees and the whole honey debate. I don’t eat honey, but when people ask why I can’t really give them an understandable answer. Maybe now I’ll be able to. Appreciate it:)

  • Chastity

    Allen, thank you. You are so right.

    The utilitarian attitude we hold towards animals is what is causing such problems. First of all, agave nectar can easily replace honey. Second of all, Haagen Dazs ritually enslaves and murders cows, pigs and chickens and of course, bees for their products. If they’re so worried about them going on the decline, why not leave ALL animals alone? As consumers, why not turn vegan? That’s the solution.

    Before people start saying that there’s an agenda behind veganism, it’s the moral demand to end speciesism. As for health and environmental reasons, there is tantamount of scientific evidence that we do not need them to be a part of something we eat, wear and basically enslave for our amusement, convenience and pleasure.

    • herwin

      i agree with the contents ;-) but please try not to speak like a walking dictionary, a sentence like “hagendasz is ritually enslaving animals” well, um, ordinary folks kinda shy away from such language. and isnt it ordinary people who you want to reach ? they r the customer and why they not turn vegan ? for now thats the big question why they dont, and how can “we” interest and pursuade them in consuming less or no animal products, right ? also the average consumer doesnt care about “a tantamount of scientific evidence”, they just care if its cheap, if its cool and hip, and if its yummy, and if the one doesnt develop cancer within two days or drop dead to the ground, the average consumer considers the product “save”. consumers are just like animals in that way. :-)
      anyway, again i agee with you and i certainly mysself dont use honey, lets hope and spread the vegan peaceful message.

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