Story at a glance
- Bees are increasingly threatened by the destruction of their habitats and worsening climate change.
- While honey bees are not endangered, they have been threatened by a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.
- Now several brands that rely on honey for their products are donating money towards research and preservation efforts.
Bees and other pollinators are essential to growing more than 90 different crops, but there’s one industry that simply cannot survive without them: honey.
The National Honey Board, an agriculture promotion group, is partnering with Kashi, Justin’s and Frönen — three brands that use honey as an ingredient in their products — to raise money for honey bee health research through Project Apis m., a nonprofit that has raised millions for research and forage programs and other research organizations.
“The health of our planet and the wide variety of the food that we enjoy depends on the health of honeybees, and we can help these vital pollinators with Honey Saves Hives,” said Danielle Downey, executive director of Project Apis m., in a statement. “We’ll dedicate the proceeds from this program to crucial research around mitigation of bee health threats, habitat and forage restoration, best management practices and more.”
The companies have agreed to donate more than $52,000 of profits from certain products, including Kashi Organic Honey Toasted Oat Cereal, Justin’s Honey Almond Butter and non-dairy frozen dessert Frönen’s made with honey flavors.
Since colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon of disappearing bees, first threatened U.S. honeybee colonies in the early 2000s, the number of commercial honey bee colonies in the United States have rebounded, growing 3 percent in 2017. Meanwhile other bees, including the Anthricinan yellow-faced bee, Assimulans yellow-faced bee, easy yellow-faced bee, Hawaiian yellow-faced bee, hilaris yellow-faced bee and the rusty patched bumble bee, remain on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s endangered species list.
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