You’ve heard by now that the honey bees are dying off in droves. You’ve probably thought to yourself, “Good. Bees sting and buzz. Who needs them?” But your restaurant could really use some honey bee stability in the coming years since these little creatures create many of the products your business needs.
What We Lose With this Trend in Honey Bee Populations
Honey, for one. Bees produce $150 million worth of honey annually. No honey bees means no honey for your guest’s tea and no honey mustard for their chicken fingers. You try telling the thirteen year old who just ordered the chicken fingers platter that he’ll be dipping his dinner in ketchup – in KETCHUP.
One third of all fruits and vegetables are pollinated by honey bees. Without these little workers, food production will take a big hit – as will all restaurateurs’ wallets when farmers need to raise prices to make ends meet. Over $15 billion worth of produce depends on bees: apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, alfalfa, and almonds – to name a few.
California almond growers must import half of all the honey bees in the United States to maintain their annual crop. Imagine the savings if these growers no longer had to invest that kind of money because the bees are already there. Be sure to invest in epinephrine first, though.
What’s Causing this Trend in Honey Bee Populations?
Though there is no sure answer, scientists are looking more and more toward pesticide use as a key explanation for the decline in honey bee populations. The bugs farmers want killed are dead, but it seems to be killing everything else off as well. Should this theory be proved correct, the organic movement will see more support, as more people will be looking for bee-friendly and healthy options. If it’s killing the bees, what is it doing to us?
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