Haagen-Dazs creates bee habitat in the Valley to keep blossoms blossoming

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Ice cream company wants to make sure bees in the Valley stay healthy to keep blossoms blossoming
An almond orchard in Chowchilla is the key in ingredient to some of the sweetest treats fromHaagen-Dazs.

CHOWCHILLA, Calif. (KFSN) -- An almond orchard in Chowchilla is the key in ingredient to some of the sweetest treats from Haagen-Dazs.

"A third of all the ingredients that we use at Haagen-Daze are bee dependent, and some of our most popular flavors include things like almonds in them. And you can't get an almond without a bee," said Alex Placzek, Haagen-Dazs Director of Marketing.

Tuesday morning, the popular ice cream maker celebrated a partnership with Xerces Society that created the largest pollinator habitat project in the United States.

Haagen-Dazs wants the bees that pollinate the orchard to be healthy all year long. The property from Harris Ranch grows all of the almonds that Haagen-Dazs uses for all their products.

"So what we did here in Chowchilla is that we planted a hedge made up of flowering drought tolerant plants that bloom at different times of the year, and we surrounded the entire 800 acre fare with those flowering plants," said Placzek.

Xerces Society focuses on creating habitats for bees and pollinators in the ag industry, and they want to make sure the bee industry is stable.

"One in every three bits of food or drink we consume is the direct product of insect pollination, and this service is worth conservatively at least $20-billion a year to US agriculture," said Eric Lee-Mader, Xerces Society.

Bee keepers collect individual bees to analyze just to make sure they are healthy-- and this year's wet winter has the business buzzing again.

"It means more flowers later, it means more irrigation water for the farmers that we pollinate for, and of course the snow in the mountains is also very good. It's like water in the bank-- its good for everybody," said Gene Brandi, Bee Keeper.