According to a survey, a full 50 percent of the public isn’t aware there is a problem with declines in the bee population. So I guess they wouldn’t know that a full third of our food is pollinated by bees (enough for the Häagen-Dazs company to start worrying about where it’s going to get raspberries and almonds for its ice creams).
For the half of us who are following along it’s hard not to feel somewhat helpless—is there anything we can do to help?
Even urbanites can plant bee-friendly flowers in gardens and pots. Urban Bee Gardens, a site created by UC Berkeley, has all sorts of advice on creating bee habitats. Already got a garden? You can help by not mulching (covering dirt with compostable material to prevent weed growth). Many bees nest in the ground, and the mulching interferes with access. Also, bee boosters are all about not pulling weeds—at least those like dandelion and white clover that provide pollen and nectar to hungry bees after they bloom. (I feel better about my unkempt yard already.) CHOW spoke with a Northern California beekeeper, who shared his wisdom about honey and honeybees.
If you don’t have access to a patch of dirt or a pot of soil, you could always just buy yourself a pint of Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream to fund research on the problem. After you read the latest on the bee situation, you just might need it.