Blog post by Environment Montana intern Tiffany Folkes
During National Pollinator Week on June 19-25, restaurants and chefs around the country participated in the weeks’ activities in order to help save the bees. More than 30 chefs and restaurants, including two right here in Montana, shared educational information with customers, had food and drinks specials that featured ingredients pollinated by bees, held bee friendly dinner and spread the word about the issue on social media.
In Montana, both The Dram Shop and Montgomery Distillery in Missoula offered drink specials during the week. The Dram Shop ran a special on a summer honey ale while Montgomery Distillery offered a special on two cocktails, the Bee’s Knees and the Honey Bee Highball.
Environment America’s Bee Friendly Food Alliance coordinator said that the focus of National Pollinator Week was to “raise awareness about the vital role bees play in pollinating our food and the need to protect these powerful pollinators.”
Bees pollinate 70 percent of the 100 crops that provide most of the world’s food, including summer foods such as strawberries, watermelon and zucchini. With the constant demand for fresh food, bees are an essential component to getting those foods from the ground to the table. Now more than ever it is important to practice responsible farming as beekeepers across the country report losing an average of 30 percent of all honey colonies each year.
Scientists point to several causes of the bee die-off, including the use of pesticides known as neonicotinoids. These pesticides affect each class of bees differently, but in general can negatively impact foraging ability and hive productivity or result in death. Restaurants rely on a stable and seasonal supply of vegetables, fruits and other foods pollinated by foods, so promoting the practice of clean farming techniques is one way we can actively impact the health of bees.
National Pollinator Week gave restaurants and chefs the opportunity to share with customers the importance of bees and how protecting them not only affects the food and drinks we buy, but their economic well being.
Thanks again to The Dram Shop and Montgomery Distillery for being active participants in Bee Friendly Food Alliance’s National Pollinator Week. The following restaurants and chefs were also active participants:
- Ne Timeas Restaurant Group, San Francisco, CA
- State Bird Provisions, San Francisco, CA
- The Progress, San Francisco, CA
- Amanda Grace Johnson – Private Chef, Los Angeles, CA
- Mindful Restaurant Group, Washington, DC
- Lavagna, Washington, DC
- Glen’s Garden Market, Washington, DC
- Pleasant Pops, Washington, DC
- Community Cafe, St. Petersburg, FL
- The Pullman, Atlanta, GA
- The Farmhouse at Persimmon Creek, Clayton, GA
- TWO, Chicago, IL
- Uncommon Ground, Chicago, IL
- Mei Mei Restaurant, Boston, MA
- Evoo, Cambridge, MA
- Za, Cambridge, MA
- Soul, Annapolis, MD
- Hunter House Hamburgers, Ann Arbor, MI
- The Dram Shop, Missoula, MT
- Montgomery Distillery, Missoula, MT
- The Baxter Bar and Arcade, Chapel Hill, NC
- Whole Earth Center, Princeton, NJ
- Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa, Santa Ana Pueblo, NM
- Vinegar Hill House, Brooklyn, NY
- Suzanne Scherr – Chef, Chappaqua, NY
- Crossroads Bake Shop, Doyleston, PA
- Golden Pheasant Inn, Erwinna, PA
- Mon Amis, Kennett Square, PA
- Kingdom Crust Co., St. Johnsbury, VT
- Michael’s on the Hill, Waterbury Center, VT
- duo Restaurant, Brattleboro, VT
- Arvads Grill, Waterbury, VT
- The Reluctant Panther, Manchester, VT