© Jack Dykinga
News continues to be bleak for the nation's commercial beekeeping industry, which could ultimately mean more bad news for farmers and higher prices at the grocery store.

Although a recent survey conducted by the Apiary Inspectors of America to measure colony losses over the winter of 2008-2009 found that the total number of colonies lost last winter was lower than the losses suffered over the previous two winters, a 29% loss is worrying. Overall, beekeepers are facing honey bee losses at rates that are economically unsustainable.

"After battling staggering honey bee losses for the past three years, many beekeepers will struggle to find resources necessary to keep replacing lost colonies, causing many to face the possibility of going out of business," says AIA president and Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Bee Board member, Dennis vanEngelsdorp. "The loss of the beekeepers that pollinate the nation's orchards and melon patches will have an effect on the types and quality of food produced in the United States."

Honey bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food every American takes. Concerned because of the direct effect honey bees have on our food supply and 50% of Häagen-Dazs ice cream flavors that are "bee-built," earlier this year the Häagen-Dazs brand stepped up for a second year to redouble its Häagen-Dazs loves Honey Bees campaign efforts. This commitment included a second donation to UC Davis and Penn State Universities of $250,000, bringing the brand's total donation for honey bee research to a half million dollars over two years.

It also marked the continuation of the special Häagen-Dazs Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream flavor, and the HD loves HB symbol and message under the carton lids on all bee-built flavors.