Bee-Friendly Haagen-Dazs(R) Brand Supports Proposed Overturn of New York City Beekeeping Ban
OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ — The honey bee crisis in the U.S. continues to threaten the U.S. food supply. Bad weather in the Midwest and East this summer and fall seriously impacted the health of a significant number of hives over the winter, adding to the already difficult problem of keeping the bees alive. The shortage is sending almond farmers scrambling to find enough hives to pollinate the almond orchards in California this month. With colony losses at approximately 30 percent over the last several winters, it is not surprising that fewer and fewer colonies are available.
Not only is the honey bee endangered, so too are the caretakers of our petite pollinators. Today, the average age of a commercial beekeeper is 60 years old. Beekeeping is a dying art that needs to be sustained and supported. To highlight the importance and need for more apiary enthusiasts, the Haagen-Dazs brand announced today the focus of its Haagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees(TM) (HD loves HB) campaign this year to help keep the hobby – and the hive – alive and buzzing.
First, the ice cream maker is calling for support to overturn the New York City Health Department’s ban on beekeeping, set to be reviewed on March 16, 2010. 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 information can be found at http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/legalize-beekeeping.html.
Unlike commercial beekeepers, backyard or hobbyist beekeepers typically have a small number of hives. The bees pollinate local gardens and plants and also help the honey bee population’s genetic diversity.
“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.”
The brand announced today it is also joining forces with 13 year-old Boy Scout Christopher Stowell, Troop 250, Skiatook, OK. Christopher is also a beekeeper and is petitioning the Boy Scout Council for reinstatement of the Boy Scout Beekeeping merit badge that was discontinued in 1995. To sign the letter and petition, visit “The Buzz” page at http://www.helpthehoneybees.com/#buzz.
“Now, more than ever before, the survival of the honey bee is important to us all,” said Stowell. “If other kids are not encouraged to learn how to become beekeepers, the honey bee will surely die out.”
“Christopher is an amazing advocate for honey bees and serves as a great example of learning about a problem and working to find a solution,” said Mara Lowry, Haagen-Dazs brand manager. “It’s because of people like him that we continue to be encouraged and inspired to work to help both bees and beekeepers, and we urge everyone to do their part. Signing this letter and petition is one small but impactful thing people can do.”
Haagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees(TM) Program Encourages Consumers to Take Part
Committed to being part of the solution, the Haagen-Dazs brand is renewing its efforts for a third year to help in the preservation of honey bees and nature’s finest ingredients. In 2010, Haagen-Dazs ice cream will continue to support Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Davis, bringing the brand’s total donation to $620,000 over the past three years. In addition to university funding, the Haagen-Dazs brand is also continuing its Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream flavor and HD loves HB(TM) icon labeling on all packages of bee-built flavors of ice cream, sorbet, frozen yogurt and bars to drive awareness of the ongoing issue.
The brand encourages everyone to find a way to become a bee crusader, and do their part to help save the honey bees. Here’s how to make a difference:
- Start a hive and become a backyard beekeeper – your garden will thank you for it. Look for a beekeeping club in your area to help you get started.
- Create a bee-friendly garden with plants that attract honey bees. Select a plant with a long growing season or a group of plants that together will offer flowers from spring through fall. A great resource for information can be found at www.helpthehoneybees.com, or from the horticulturalist at your local plant nursery.
- Avoid insecticides in your garden. Instead, promote good bugs (called ‘beneficial insects’) – bugs that will happily eat the bad bugs chomping on your plants. More information is available at www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/ and http://horticulture.psu.edu/extension/mg.
- When you buy a Haagen-Dazs ice cream bee-built product, a portion of the proceeds of the sale go toward helping the honey bees.
- Tell a friend – Visit www.helpthehoneybees.com to send a Bee-Mail or to create your own animated honey bee to help spread the word.
- Visit the Haagen-Dazs Bee Store at www.helpthehoneybees.com – All proceeds from our bee store will fund CCD and sustainable pollination research at Penn State and UC Davis.
About Haagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees(TM)
Alarmingly, over the last three winters, more than one in three bee colonies died nationwide. Researchers are calling the mysterious bee disappearance Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Because the Haagen-Dazs brand uses only all-natural ingredients in its recipes, more than 50 percent of the brand’s flavors are bee-built, meaning they use ingredients pollinated by the bees.
In 2008, the Haagen-Dazs brand launched the HD loves HB campaign to create awareness of the honey bee crisis. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of HD loves HB labeled flavors fund sustainable pollination and CCD research at Pennsylvania State University and University of California, Davis, totaling $620,000 over three years.
Crafted in 1960 by Reuben Mattus in his family’s dairy, Haagen-Dazs is the original superpremium ice cream. True to tradition, Haagen-Dazs is committed to using only all-natural ingredients in crafting the world’s finest ice cream. Truly made like no other, today Haagen-Dazs ice cream offers a full range of products from ice cream to sorbet, frozen yogurt and frozen snacks in more than 65 flavors. Haagen-Dazs products are available around the globe for ice cream lovers to enjoy. For more information, please visit www.Haagen-Dazs.com.
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