Do Good: Help Bees, Look Good!

May 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm , by

I’ve never really been a big fan of bees. Between the time they stung me when I was 8 years old and killing Macaulay Culkin in My Girl, they haven’t exactly been my favorite. But two of my favorite brands (the maker of, in my opinion, the best lip balm ever, Burt’s Bees, and one of my favorite jewelry designers, Helen Ficalora) teamed up with the Pollinator Partnership to raise awareness about the increased threat to pollinators in our country. Bees and other pollinators (butterflies, moths, beetles, flies, birds and bats) play a crucial roll in our food system and help maintain our natural ecosystem. But pesticides, habitat loss and disease have put them on the endangered species list.

Burt’s Bees has been working with the Pollinator Partnership for years but this year in honor of National Pollinator Week, Helen Ficalora joined the cause. This cute sterling silver beehive charm and chain costs $100 and comes with Burt’s Bees tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom (which was our pick for best lip balm in our First Annual “This Stuff Works” Beauty Awards). 100 percent of the proceeds will go to providing a school with a Bee Smart School garden kit, which will help students learn how vital pollinators are and allow them to create bee-friendly gardens.

This is a win-win all around. A beautiful necklace, a fabulous lip balm and helping the bees. Because even though they sting and their buzzing can be annoying, life wouldn’t be the same with out them!

To purchase the charm or donate visit

Plight Of The Honey Bee

May 11, 2010 at 4:22 pm , by

3712117235_7d9c7f3f50While most city dwellers dream of adopting a dog or a cat to live with them in their cramped NYC apartments, I have a different dream. My dream is bees. Uh-huh, you heard correctly. Bees. Confused? Don’t “bee” (Ha, ha—I couldn’t resist.)

It started years ago, during a saturday morning stroll through my local greenmarket. I spied a bottle that read “New York City Honey.” Honey in the city? Surely it must be imported from a neighboring county or state…NYC doesn’t have hives, right? Wrong! Our urban oasis is littered with honey bee hives, mostly housed on rooftops and tucked away in secret community gardens. From the Bronx to Brooklyn and boroughs in between, (formerly) renegade beekeepers have been housing bees and reaping the benefits (honey) for years. Until recently, keeping bees within the limits of New York City had been deemed illegal as they were considered to be too dangerous, but in March, the city’s board of health voted to lift the ban, so my dream may end up becoming a reality.

A boom in backyard beekeeping couldn’t be coming at a better time. Honey bees have been in the media a lot lately, with reports of colony collapse disorder (when a large number of honey bees go missing) becoming more widespread. This has prompted companies, like Haagen Daz and Burt’s Bees, to launch bee survival campaigns. It might not sound like a big deal, but bees help pollinate many of the crops that we feed ourselves with. This is the draw for many an urban and suburban beekeeper.

Read more