The honey bee may be small, but it plays a mighty role in pollinating more than 100 fruit and vegetable crops across the world. With massive declines in honey bee populations, biodiversity and the future of our agriculture system and gardens are all being threatened.
“Bees pollinate a third of our diet, yet they’re literally vanishing from their hives,” says Cheryl Galway, marketing director for Whole Foods Market’s South region. “Many people have no idea that honey bees play an essential role in our agricultural system. By raising awareness of the issue we hope to motivate people to take action and share many ways they can be a part of the solution.”
Here’s how. In June and July, Whole Foods Market shoppers can:
- Bee educated: Get stories, videos and more ways to support honey bees at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sharethebuzz.
- Bee a film buff: Check out in-store screenings of “Vanishing of the Bees” or “Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us?” The Do Something Reel Film Festival will also feature “Queen of the Sun” for the month of June at www.dosomethingreel.com.
- Bee social: Tweet-to-give and pin-to-give to help support The Xerces Society, a nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats. Want more buzz? “Adopt a bee” through the company’s Facebook page to learn more fun facts about bees: facebook.com/wholefoods.
- Bee a smart shopper: For every organic cantaloupe sold at Whole Foods Market stores from June 13 to 26, 25 cents will be donated to Xerces. The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers a 1:1 match for all donations made to Xerces. Annie’s and The Hain-Celestial Group, Inc. along with following suppliers are also donating funds to support Xerces:
- Alba Botanica®, Almond Breeze, Amy’s Kitchen, Arrowhead Mills®, Attune Foods, Avalon Organics®, Blue Diamond, Earth’s Best®, Evian Natural Spring Water, GoGo squeeze, Honest Tea, Honeydrop Beverages, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Mrs. Meyers Clean Day®, O.N.E. Coconut Water, Pacific Natural Foods, Popcorn Indiana, PROBAR, Sambazon, Small Planet Foods, Nancy’s Yogurt, Stonyfield, Terra®, Three Twins Ice Cream, WestSoy®, Wholesome Sweeteners and Yogi Tea.
With supplier and shopper support, Whole Foods Market is working to raise $180,000 to restore pollination habitats that Xerces will support. Both organizations also teamed up in May to host an educational webinar for over 100 of grocer’s farmers to learn about habitat restoration solutions for their farms.
“Pollinator conservation is critically important to protecting both global biodiversity and agriculture, but they’re increasingly at-risk from factors like habitat loss and pesticide use. Through this partnership with Whole Foods Market, we’re expanding public awareness about the importance of pollinators and empowering farmers nationwide to help protect them,” said Eric Mader, Assistant Pollinator Conservation Director at The Xerces Society.