Atypically, it is actually ice cream weather in SF right now I digress here, but I'll never understand the lines outside Bi-Rite Creamery in July, let alone January and the grandaddy of premium ice cream, Häagen-Dazs, is doing a Free Cone Day today, handing out free child-size cones between 4 and 8 p.m. at select locations nationwide. It's a publicity event that is part of their ongoing Häagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees initiative, begun in 2008, in order to bring attention to the humble honey bee and worldwide efforts to create sustainable homes for bee populations.
Update: Here in SF, the scoops won't be doled out at the only Häagen-Dazs shop at the Westfield SF Centre (865 Market), i.e. the Nordstrom's side of the mall, because the company informs us that the shop is under renovation and was not able to reopen in time for the event. Scoops can be found, however, at four other locations around the Bay Area (see below).
As the company writes, "Not only do bees help pollinate over one-third of the world’s crops, they also help in the creation of one third of our most beloved flavors like strawberry, rocky road, mango, and even our classic vanilla. Unfortunately, bee populations have been disappearing at an alarming rate for nearly a decade, putting the future of our food system at risk."
Häagen-Dazs as a company has taken steps to help the bees that pollinate their almond supplier's farm, installing six and a half miles of permanent hedgerow to provide the bees a year-long home the largest such effort in the US. The company has also donated over a million dollars to pollinator research and education.
On the occasion of Free Cone Day, they're asking people both to help spread awareness of the importance of bees, and to take steps around their own homes to preserve honey bee habitat. Individuals can do things like plant native wildflowers, shrubs, or trees around their homes, and protect the homes bees already have. "Bees love untidy areas of gardens, tree stumps, and open sandy grounds," they write. "If you see these types of habitats, leave them be!"
Here are the other four locations where the scoops will be given out, outside of SF, per SFGate:
2774 Livermore Outlets Drive
Livermore, CA 94551
1144 Stoneridge Mall Road (Space #B-120)
Pleasanton, CA 94588
2855 Stevens Creek Boulevard (#2458)
Santa Clara, CA 95050
1071 Santa Rosa Plaza (Space #1056A)
Santa Rosa, CA 95401