(NC)—Can you imagine life without honey? Many of us use it to sweeten our tea and to cook with; we even have sayings about this beloved treat—like “sweet as honey”.
And while nothing is sweeter than the taste of honey, what is not so sweet is the fact that the health of the hard-working honey bee is in jeopardy.
Declines in the honey bee population have been linked to 'colony collapse disorder',a series of symptoms with an unconfirmed cause or cure. In Canada, we have lost approximately 35 percent of our bee colonies in the past three years, according to the Canadian Honey Council. This is alarming when you consider that bees pollinate roughly one third of the produce we eat.
There are ways, however, we can all help. On an individual level, you can plant wildflowers, avoid using insecticides and donate to save-the-bees organizations On a corporate level, companies can use their resources to launch initiatives to help sustain the honey bee.
One company that's been rallying for the bee for years is natural personal-care company Burt's bees. "We, of course, understand that bees affect not only our business, but also everyone's lifestyle due to their critical role in our ecosystem, and we want to generate the same awareness amongst the public,” says Sarah Au of Burt's bees Canada. In 2007, her company banded with the Pollinator Partnership to establish the Honey Bee Health Improvement Project, a taskforce whose mission is to promote the health of pollinators through conservation, education and research.
And this July, Burt's bees has commissioned Canadian jewelry designer Jenny Bird to design a honey bee health charm. Retailing for $24.00 at stores including The Bay and online at www.jenny-bird.com and www.burtsbees.ca, proceeds from the sales of the charm will be donated to the Pollinator Partnership.