The bees are worth it



Have you seen Häagen Dazs’s help the honey bees site? Do visit, if not. It’s a charming and I would think effective awareness-raising project. The company explains why they care—many of their ingredients are dependent on bee pollination—explains how they’re donating to research on the bee problem, and offers some fun interactive features and a store.

Sadly, ice cream has been on my list of forbidden foods for some time now, but maybe my thin slim husband would like some of the bee-dependent flavors, the purchase of which will help support Penn State and UC Davis research. In fact, it was he who found the site and, after reading it, asked me if I was growing any of the plants they list as attracting bees. It’s the most interested I’ve seen him in plant types, ever. (He’s in charge of hardscaping, lighting, and the watering system.)

Their bee-friendly plant list is actually kind of strange, but I believe is meant to reach across a wide range of zones. Anyway, even though this is the brainchild of a General Mills subsidiary, I like the website. I can’t help but think it will succeed in making more people care about honeybees.

You can personalize your own bee and email it; above is the one I made.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regularly radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world,and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. I’ve seen more and more commercial lately advertising the honey bee campaign which is a good sign. Once we have a house with a yard we plan on planting so bee friendly plants but right now I don’t see any coming up to our third floor apartment balcony.

    What is also cool is floating among homesteading blogs and seeing how many people our starting their own hives which is also something we really want to do.

  2. Maybe it’s a secondary sex characteristic, this male interest in bees. Owning a hive has transformed Jeff, too, who no longer grumbles about the absurd waste of time, money, and natural resources our country house represents. He’s suddenly interested in everything happening on our 15 acres. This spring, he made me order 20 blueberry bushes for him to plant!!! Who is this man–and do I have to give him back when my husband returns?

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