I was excited to see the new Haagen-Dazs ice cream flavor as well as the new bee information labels in my local supermarket freezer.
At the request of Dr. Eric Mussen and Dr. Sue Cobey of UC Davis, I brought two observation hives to the Dreyers/Haagen-Dazs sales convention that was held in Las Vegas last year to answer questions about bees. It is thrilling to see more mainstream sources of bee education and awareness popup. As of February, Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream (part of Dreyers Ice Cream) has come out with a new flavor of ice cream called Vanilla Honey Bee. In addition, the labels on over 40% of Haagen-Dazs flavors have honey bee information on the label. When I was speaking with representatives of Haagen-Dazs they were very excited about this new program because 40% of all Haagen-Dazs flavors are dependent on honey bee pollination. I mentioned to them that ALL flavors of ice cream are honey bee dependent. Milk cows are fed alfalpha, clover, oats, and other feed crops. These crops are totally dependent on honey bees to pollinate in order to produce seed either at the seed producer level or directly in the field. Without honey bee pollination, there will be no feed crops for milk production.
Haagen-Dazs has donated $100,000 to UC Davis for Bee Research as well as $150,000 to Penn State University for Bee Research. These funds will be used to continue efforts at both research laboratories towards Colony Collapse Disorder, pollination research, and overall bee health.
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written by: Mark Allen