Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Haagen-Dazs (hearts) honeybees

February 27, 2009

haagen-dazs20loves20honey20beesIce cream seller Haagen-Dazs is investing a half-million dollars to save the honeybees – and to save us from a future of feeding on gruel. 

Honeybees, which 60 Minutes called the “unsung heroes of the food chain,” are threatened in many parts of the world, putting food supplies in danger.

Bees pollenate one-third of all of the natural foods we eat. Just imagine a world without nuts, fruits, vegetables, flowers and even meat and milk from cattle that eat bee-pollenated alfalfa.

“Without bees and other pollinators, the things we that would be left with are corn, rice and wheat,” Diana Cox-Foster, an entomology professor at Pennsylvania State University, said in this video created for Haagen-Dazs.

“If we don’t have them, we’re going to be eating gruel,” said Maryann Frazier, a senior extension associate in Penn State’s entomology department.

Billions of bees in the United States and Europe have disappeared. Scientists in the United States say that colony collapse disorder, a mysterious syndrome , has wiped out more than a third of American hives in 2008 on top of similar losses in 2007.

Haagen-Dazs just gave a second $250,000 donation to honeybee researchers at Penn State and the University of California, Davis.

The company is running a public information campaign at and says federal funding is needed to tackle the issue.  

Part of the donation from the company, which sells ”bee-built” flavors like Vanilla Honey Bee, will be used to create Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven – a one-half acre bee-friendly demonstration garden coordinated by the California Center for Urban Horticulture.

(Photo: Provided by Haagen-Dazs)


I applaud Haagen-Dazs for taking these steps. Bees are a vital part of crop growing and food production. We learn that in grade school. It is mystifying that even the scientists can’t fgure out the reason for the decline in the honeybee population. I’m sure they’ve looked into this, but could there be a possible connection with the influx of the more aggressive African bee that began showing up here a few years ago? Perhaps “our” bees became sterile like a mule is) when mated with them?

Posted by Barbara Delnero | Report as abusive

Thank you Haagen-Dazs for being forward thinking & acting responsibly. I wish articles like this would be on the nightly news instead of the violence & negative stories. Then more companies might be inspired to give back. Wouldn’t the world be so much better if we heard less of the negativity in the news & more of the good? We could shop more consciously, giving our business to companies we support for their good works. Then they would have the ability to divert their marketing budget to their charitable causes. What an impact that would have on our economy. Companies would compete for how much of a difference they could make. With less coverage of bad news, there would be less bad because of the change in mindset, if the majority was seeking good news, violence would be less acceptable & would become less prevalent because of the social stigma. Unfortunately now, we accept violence & make murderers & thieves famous in the news. Change our perceptions & we change our world.

Posted by Kat | Report as abusive

Any time there are efforts to support wildlife; plant, animal or insect, I am proud to be a supporter. While I understand that Natural Selection requires certain species to go extinct now and then, I also loathe the idea that human consumption could not only lead to certain extinctions, but also ignore them. The attitude that the earth and it’s resources are there strictly to support human life is egotistical to the point of disgust… for me. But, then, I’m just an environmentalist buffalo…


Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see