Haagen-Dazs—maker of what is, in my opinion, the world's best chocolate ice cream—has launched a stunningly beautiful website to promote its recent efforts to fund honeybee-related research aimed at solving the "mystery" of CCD.Along with a listing of the "bee-dependent" ingredients used in their ice cream (honey being obvious, along with almonds, strawberries, raspberries and other bee-pollinated foods), the site includes a fun "build-your-own-bee" feature. Can you find my drag-queen bee?I'm not normally one to tout corporations—my status as an unapologetic MacHead being the sole exception—but credit where it's due: this site design is gorgeous and right now I am drowning out the horrid urban sound-scape of honking car-morons and jackhammers with the site's low-key, chittering bird songs and cricket calls.
If Haagen-Dazs puts the same degree of thought and care into its efforts to protect the honeybees as it has in developing this website, we're off to a good start. Let's hope that all companies and individuals whose livelihood depends upon the free labor we extract from honeybees step up to the plate to support not only longterm research, but immediate actions to protect the ecosystem on which we all—human and honeybee alike—depend (a fact that needs no further study). This effort needs to go well beyond PR and funky web design to bring real-world protections to an environment in desperate need of intensive care. Building a virtual bee is cool; building a healthy world and clean environment is—as they say in those Mastercard ads—priceless.