The holiday season is officially in full swing and this is the season for giving back. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa – we all have gift giving and gift receiving on the brain.
You know who else always has giving on the brain? Well, not in the same way that humans do, but honey bees are constantly giving. They give us pollination and honey – their food provides us with vitamins and antioxidants. On top of all of that, they are a major contributor to our ecosystem. We think it’s only fair to return the favor and give back to honey bees and organizations that support honey bees and all pollinators.
Xerces Society, Bee City USA, and Center for Honeybee Research in Asheville, North Carolina are a select few non-profit organizations that Beepods has worked with in the past, and they do fantastic work. We want to raise awareness for organizations like these because there should be more of them around the world. We see too many organizations exploiting bees, the environment, and other pollinators for their own profit. The organizations we work with, The Xerces Society, Bee City USA and Center for Honeybee Research all have a common goal in mind – protect pollinators.
The Xerces Society (named after the now extinct Xerces blue butterfly) is working towards protecting a legacy that has been around since 1971: protecting the natural world around us. Their ultimate goal is to conserve and restore the natural work we live in through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitats.
TheXerces Society has programs dedicated to pollinator conservation, endangered species conservation, advocating for change, spreading awareness and reducing pesticide use and pesticide impacts. They know the importance of having knowledge in multiple areas regarding the natural world around us which is why they have trained thousands of farmers and land managers in order to conserve habitats and raise awareness about invertebrates in deserts, oceans, forests and prairies.
There are so many ways to get involved through the programs that the Xerces Society provides, whether you want to solely focus on pollinators, learn more about pesticides, or cover endangered species. All of their programs and events are backed by science-based research, and they are engaging in education and advocacy. Xerces has a ton of great resources if you want to continue expanding your knowledge so make sure you give them a look!
Bee City USA took off in 2012 when the founder Phyllis Stiles created a program to help reverse pollinator declines. She knew that there was a lack of funding and she had a burning passion for spreading awareness and helping pollinators and engaging communities in pollinator conservation. In 2014, Bee City gained its second affiliate – Talent, Oregon – and they soared from there. They had since spread all over the country and into college campuses launching Bee Campus USA. In 2018, Bee City USA and Bee Campus USA became initiatives of the Xerces Society.
Bee City USA provides the framework for individuals and communities to conserve not only honey bees, but all native bees. Fun fact, there are over 3,600 native (wild) bee species in the US alone. Bee City USA focuses primarily on the conservation and awareness of native bees whereas their affiliates focus more broadly on pollinators such as bumblebees, butterflies and moths.
Bee City USA has plenty of volunteer opportunities available in hundreds of communities. And college students o staff can get involved through BEE Campus USA. They host events, webinars, and many videos for you to expand your knowledge and get involved in this organization.
Center for Honeybee Research (Asheville, NC)
Did you know that North Carolina has one of the highest concentrations of beekeepers in the country? If you live in North Carolina, this organization is perfect for you to explore! The Center for Honeybee Research (CHBR) has a slightly different approach than Xerces Society and Bee City USA. They focus on peer-reviewed certification, grassroots networking, and advocacy in order to promote sustainable agriculture.
They emphasize a sense of ownership and pride when you join their community because of the hard work that is put into maintaining and building out their grassroots initiative. They currently have over 750 farmers and beekeepers throughout the US and Canada that are a part of their team – how awesome is that?!
CHBR is a great organization for those looking to get involved because they have a variety of options:
If none of those options suit your liking, you can even become an ambassador. CHBR is such a great non-profit organization so we highly recommend that you go and check it out!
All of these organizations are fantastic. If you want to check them out – you will not be disappointed. And an added bonus, they all have great farming and pollinator pictures to check out on social media – who doesn’t love looking at pictures of honey bees, butterflies, and pretty plants?
If you decide to donate, volunteer, or share their information with anyone, let us know! We will be sure to thank you and give you a shoutout on social media! Happy Holidays to all! We hope you stay safe this season!
Links to Donations
Xerces Society – https://www.xerces.org/get-involved
Bee City USA – https://secure.acceptiva.com/?cst=3257f5
Center for HoneyBee Research (Asheville, NC) – https://www.cngfarming.org/valuable_inspections