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Hill Talk: An Ice Cream Social for the Benefit of Bees

A coalition of advocacy groups is hoping a new flavor of ice cream will help create a buzz about issues facing the nation’s population of bees and other pollinators.

The Pollinator Partnership will dish up Häagen-Dazs’ new Vanilla Honey Bee ice cream at a briefing and ice cream social in the House Agriculture Committee hearing room (1300 Longworth House Office Building) today. The 3 p.m. event is part of National Pollinator Week.

The week, aimed at spreading awareness about the importance of pollinators, was established last year with a declaration by the secretary of Agriculture.

Though they help keep flowers in bloom — pollinators play a vital role in the reproduction of about 70 percent of flowering plants — there is concern that some pollinators don’t have a rosy future. According to the Pollinator Partnership, more and more honey bees are dying over the winter months; more than 37 percent of the western honey bee population died this past winter, compared with 31 percent in 2006.

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