I tend to equate summers in L.A. with the first juicy couture around: the fruit from the upscale Gelson’s Market (the Saks Fifth Avenue of grocery stores). My mom, who still frequents Gelson’s daily at age 80, kept the fridge stocked with oversize peaches, cherries and Sunkist oranges, which were nectar to our taste buds after a day of Marco Polo and handstands in the pool or when returning home from Zuma Beach.
It’s alarming to know that these staples might not make it to our stores in coming seasons due to the colony collapse disorder affecting our honeybees. According to Cox News Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been slow to act in rescuing the crops, which include foods like almonds and blueberries. In fact, experts tell us 80 percent of the pollinated foods we eat get help from honeybees, which help in the production of over 100 crops: avocados, blueberries, broccoli, carrots and onions are on the list, along with Texas cotton.The mysterious virus seems to target the bees’ immune system, which coupled with dwindling food supply and pesticides, poses a serious threat.
Choose plants for your gardens that flower at various stages to provide a consistent source of food for pollinators.
Plant native species.
Reduce or eliminate pesticides and insecticides using good green alternatives (visit Organic Gardening for options).
Eat lots of the new Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream from Haagen-Dazs, wich was introduced in conjunction with Help the Honeybees, a campaign to raise consumer awareness about bees.
Burts’ Bees is even getting into the act by offering free packets of bee-friendly flower seeds, so I recommend them as a personal care line to use.
Editor’s note: it’s not just bees who have a relationship with the produce you consume. Learn about conventional agriculture’s impact on songbirds.