Honeybees have been disappearing in massive amounts nearly a decade and Whole Foods has vowed to do its part to educate the masses about the issue. A multitude of studies have been conducted to determine why bees are perishing in record numbers and the root cause of Colony Collapse Disorder – CCD. Despite all the time and money spent on research, no definitive result has yet been accepted by the scientific world, the FDA, or the EPA.
Whole Foods Market recently embarked upon a “Give bees a chance” educational promotion to highlight the ongoing honeybee decline. The chain is hosting events in stores to alert shoppers to exactly how the dairy aisle would look if honeybees no longer existed.
GMO crops, the increased use of chemical herbicides and pesticides, and the varroa mite are often noted as the likely culprits form the devastating honeybee population decline. Between 70 and 90 percent of the food we eat, and livestock consumers, is pollinated by bees.
After taking a long hard look at the dairy aisle, Whole Foods staffers found that without honeybees most fruit-flavored yogurts would no longer be stocked on the shelves. The company also discovered that honeybees are responsible for the chocolate which is necessary to make the childhood favorite, chocolate milk.
Whole Foods Market researches found that without honeybee pollination of clover and alfalfa a 50 percent reduction in all milk-based products would also likely occur. Almond milk and fruit juices would also be among the items to disappear from grocery stores in honeybees are wiped out by biotech products, GMO crops, the nasty little varroa mite, or any other reason that has been touted for CCD by notable experts.
Excerpt from the Whole Foods release about the Human Bee-In – “Give bees a chance” project:
“Imagine a world with no milk, yogurt, or butter. No cheese? No chance. Without pollinators, the dairy aisle would be a lot less plentiful. That’s why the Whole Foods Market Lynnfield store in Massachusetts demonstrated to shoppers how many of their dairy department favorites would cease to exist without bees. One of every three bites of food comes from plants pollinated by honeybees and other pollinators, and pollinator populations are facing massive declines.”
In 2013, Whole Foods engaged in a similar bee education project. While working on that endeavor the store found that 52 percent of products typically found in the product mixes aisle is also dependent upon pollination by bees. According to the studies reviewed during the experiment, about 85 percent of all the plant species on Earth either require or “strongly benefit” from pollination by insects.
Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program Assistant Director Eric Mader had this to say about honeybees:
“Despite the critical role they play in sustaining our world, the situation for pollinators continues to be difficult. Whether we are looking at honeybee declines, the massive downturn in monarch butterfly populations, or the risk of extinction now facing many bumblebee species, this is an incredibly tough time for pollinators. The stand that Whole Foods Market is taking to bring more attention to our pollinators should inspire all of us to speak out for these creatures, and to take action. We don’t always notice it when walking down a grocery aisle, but pollinators are a critical link in our food system, some of the most nutritious parts of our diet. Our organization is working with farmers nationwide to help them create wildflower habitat on field edges and to adopt less pesticide-intensive practices. Even on a small scale, these simple strategies can tip the balance back in favor of our bees.”
To join the bee conservation conversation in cyber space use #ShareTheBuzz when posting on social media networks.
The store pulled 237 of 453 products from their store aisle to illustrate how many food items would no longer exist without bee pollination.
A small sampling of the food varieties which would no longer exist without honeybees:
- · Onions
- · Apples
- · Avocados
- · Carrots
- · Mangos
- · Lemons
- · Limes
- · Honeydew
- · Cantaloupe
- · Zucchini
- · Summer squash
- · Eggplant
- · Cucumbers
- · Celery
- · Green onions
- · Cauliflower
- · Leeks
- · Bok choy
- · Kale
- · Broccoli
- · Broccoli rabe
- · Mustard greens