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Does a world without honey bees mean a world without Haagen-Dazs?

Melissa Waage

Posted February 26, 2008

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The premium ice cream maker recently announced it's launching a new flavor to call attention to the importance of honey bees and help fund research into colony collapse disorder. Haagen-Dazs says that without honey bees, the strawberries, raspberries, and other fruits that flavor its ice cream will be in jeopardy.

It’s no joke. Eighty percent of the world's crop plants depend on pollination. Pollinators, almost all of which are insects, are indispensable partners in producing an estimated one out of every three mouthfuls of food we eat. Insect pollinators, like honey bees, pollinate products worth $20 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Honey bees have been in decline for the last ten years, but the recent disappearances of honey bees due to colony collapse disorder have really caught the attention of the media and the public. 

The new Haagen-Dazs flavor, "vanilla honey bee,” will hopefully help turn ice cream lovers into honey bee lovers while getting some real results for colony collapse disorder research. (On that note, it’s worth mentioning that none of the three species of vanilla bean are pollinated by honey bees.  But naturally I'll still show my support for the bees by trying the ice cream.)

By the way, there’s plenty more that you can do at home to help protect honey bees and keep the tasty treats coming.  Check out NRDC’s Bee Safe page for more information. 

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