Bees! They're ripping my flesh off! Run away, your firearms are useless against them!
"Bees! Bees! Bees in the car! Bees everywhere! God, they're huge! They're ripping my flesh off! Run away, your firearms are useless against them!"
Man I love that scene from Tommy Boy. It’s a classic. Despite their nasty propensity to sting people who mess with their hives (I’m still annoyed about being stung multiple times after flipping over an almuminum Sears row boat at the start of the season as a child), we need bees. 30% of the fruit- and vegetable-producing plants we rely for food need honeybee pollination. Unfortunately, a mysterious disease is wiping out massive colonies of bees. According to a recent survey 36.1% of the nation's commercially managed bee hives have been lost since last year! This follows a massive 32% loss the year before.
A trend is definitely developing here. The question is how can one profit from the demise of bees? One brand that is being hurt by the bee deaths is Haagen-Daz. Twenty-eight of the brand's ice cream flavors use berries, nuts, and fruits that depend upon honeybees for polination. It is so concerned about this problem that it is donating up to $250,000 to Penn State and the University of California for Bee research (see site: Colony Collapse Disorder). That is not an easy angle to play though because it is owned by the huge company General Mills and it lisences its brand to Nestle for use in the U.S. and Canada.
A few big sellers of fruits and berries include Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDP) and Chiquita Brands International (CQB), but neither of them jump off the screen as screaming short plays. Clorox (CLX) owns Burt's Bees, the maker of beeswax lip balms, but this is a tiny part of its business. Honey producers would probably be hurt by this, but I don't know any off of the top of my head. Perhaps there is a Monsanto-like company that is working on a solution for the bee problem. Let's put our collective heads together and think of a way to make money off of this. Please post any ideas that you have in the comments section. Thanks.