SUPPLIER SPOTLIGHT: Bee-friendly almonds
Did you know that almonds are the only crop that are 100% reliant on honey bees for propagation? Endangered Species Chocolate uses Blue Diamond almonds in its recipes, supporting a producer that is species and habitat conscious. Blue Diamond funds research in more than 70 projects focused on the health of bees, pollination and colony health.
Over the past several years, almonds have become one of the most sought after ingredients in the natural food marketplace. From sweets to snacks, powders to drinks, the mighty almond has made its way to the forefront of healthy eating. That is why it comes as no surprise that one of our top selling bars features almonds and sea salt in rich 72% dark chocolate. However, when we indulge in these tasty, nutrition-packed nuts, we must keep in mind the role they play in our ecosystem – specifically the relationship they have with honey bees.
Every spring, more than a million colonies of honey bees are used on California almond orchards to pollinate the crop. Without these bees, the almond crops simply would not reproduce, resulting in a global sized shortage of one very popular ingredient!
Sadly, the thought of an almond shortage is not too far off. Honey bee populations continue to decline in size and health due to a variety of threats. These threats can be put into four categories: pests & disease, lack of forage & nutrition, incidental pesticide exposure, and hive management. Fortunately, many of these threats can be combatted. Here are ways that you as a consumer can become more educated about the role of honey bees and their health as well as how you can help them survive, and thrive!
- Visit Project Apis m. This website is full of information about honey bees, the role they play and ways this organization is combating their enemies. Many consumer brands such as Blue Diamond and producer brands like Olam Ingredients support this organization and its honey bee conservation efforts. Among several research projects combating pests and disease, one of their biggest projects is to supply specialized seed packs to almond growers so that the growers can provide year round nourishment to honey bees!
- Read up on honey bees at Honey Bee Health Coalition. Another major partner in the fight for honey bees, this web page provides easy to understand graphics and info on this special pollinator. Visit the “How We Can Help Bees” tab for a variety of ways you can get involved.
- Support brands that support bees! Many brands have taken the challenge to raise awareness for honey bees and other critical pollinators. Endangered Species Chocolate does its part in a number of ways – from our 10% giveback partnerships, to the partners we connect with on the inner label of our packages, to social media – we take pride in being advocates for species. And for each ingredient in our chocolate bars, we hand pick producers and manufacturers who are both species and habitat conscious, including for our bee-friendly almonds.