One of the best things to come out of the Colony Collapse Disorder mess has been the realization by many businesses that honey bees are in trouble. Its only then that the light bulb comes on and they see down the road just a little and they realize that if honey bees go away, their own businesses will be seriously threatened. And then they get worried. And then they realize, after reading about CCD in the papers and on the net (like here), that the government isnt doing much to help, or isnt doing it very fast, and that if something is going to get done, well, by golly, they better do it themselves.
One of the more prominent businesses to belly up to the beehive and lend a hand is Haagen Dazs Ice cream, which has gone all out to help honey bees.
Their support is directly related to the fact that a large percentage of the flavorings for their ice creams come directly from products produced by honey bee pollination. Theres good incentive in keeping bees around.
They have a dynamite web page (HelpTheHoneyBees.com), bee items to sell, and special flavored ice cream, and have donated cash and their special ice cream product to a wide variety of organizations that support honey bee and pollinators in general.
They officially started their program last January, so theyve been at it quite awhile. Im not sure of the total of their donations so far, but it is in the tens of thousands of dollars in cash, purchases and donations. They certainly are beekeepings newest friend.
Dundee Brewing has a Save The Honey Bee campaign going on also. Though just begun, its off to a good start and beekeepers appreciate their efforts. Well, those that are at least 21 do (which you have to be go see their web page).
The web page (DundeeForTheBees.com) has information on pollinated products, CCD and what you can do to help. Of course their Honey Brown beer benefits directly from the honey those affected bees produce, so they have good reason to help out. They have teamed up with The American Beekeeping Federation (the ABF, see below) and state that a percentage of their sales, up to $25,000, will go to the ABF for CCD research. Thats a good chunk of money and will keep some scientists busy for quite awhile.
Burts Bees, a company that makes personal beauty products, has joined in too, offering to donate 5% of the sales of one of their beeswax products to CCD research. They also make a fantastic Public Service Announcement promoting their donation, and bringing attention to Colony Collapse Disorder in general. The original Burt, a beekeeper living in Maine, is the central figure in the PSA and it is both entertaining and informative.
Im unaware of the exact figure they will donate eventually, but the attention they have brought to CCD with their PSA has a terrific value. They are contributing their funds to a sister group, the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign and its Honeybee Health Improvement Project.
I know I have heard of other businesses that have climbed on this wagon and are generously donating time, money or promotional activities to help the cause of the honey bee right now, but these three are the first that come to mind. If I have missed your business or one that you know about and youd like people to know, please leave a comment below with the web page address or other contact information and well let the rest of the world know from here. We dont want to slight anybody, and the more we find, the more well publish. I am pretty sure you have heard of these companies and their programs ... theyve been very careful about making sure that you do.
What you probably dont know about are the swarms of small beekeeping organizations that have made cash donations to the coffers of larger, more organized groups so the money can be added together and donated in chunks instead of small pieces. There are too many of these county-sized groups to mention here, and I certainly dont know them all, but they are making a difference, and their contributions are appreciated.
But its the large groups that get attention, and its no different here. And there are several.
Probably the biggest is a hybrid industry group called Project Apis m.. Members of the steering committee are commercial and sideline beekeepers, pollination brokers, almond and other crop growers and other interested folks who have a stake in the bee business and in businesses that honey bees directly affect.
The California Almond Board is certainly one the largest of those (and does a bang up job all by themselves in raising funds for honey bees research), but so too are individual almond growers and commercial beekeepers. Project Apism is relatively new at this, stirred to life when CCD first showed up. Theyve raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars already to various projects, university researchers, government researchers and even bought research equipment. They have projects underway now and more planned for the immediate future. You can see everything they do on their web page. All that, and they make donating easy.
California, where the Almond Board and Project Apism are headquartered, is also the home of the California State Beekeepers Association. A very big chunk of U.S. beekeeping is in, or passes through California every year ... including honey producers, pollinators and queen producers ... and they have been very dynamic over many, many years in funding honey bee research.
Another industry organization, mentioned above, that funds honey bee research is the American Beekeeping Federation, through their non-profit arm called the Foundation For The Preservation Of Honey Bees. Through this they fund not only honey bee research but also other charitable organizations.
They most recently put together a program, working with Penn State University, that partially covers the cost of having chemical analyses done at the best lab in the U.S. This has made this task affordable for regular beekeepers.
Another group that actively supports beekeeping research, though in considerably smaller amounts than the previous groups, is the Eastern Apiculture Society. They, too, are a non-profit group and accept donations toward their research funds. You can download a pdf of their form to make a donation (you dont have to pay dues to donate, by the way).
EAS is a regional group, one that I have been associated with for decades, comprised primarily of hobby and sideline beekeepers interested in educating their members about beekeeping, recognizing and awarding outstanding Apiculture Researchers (our prestigious Hambleton Award is one of several we present each year), provide a Master Beekeeper Program, and many other activities. We arent huge by any means ... or at least not as big as the other beekeeping groups mentioned, but we award $5,000, or maybe $10,000, each year to researchers looking at applied research. For the past 2 years however, we have been making additional donations to researchers studying CCD.
So there you have it ... if you are interested in helping honey bees here are a variety of organizations that are set up to do just that. You can contact any of the beekeeping groups and ask more if you want, or make the appropriate purchases from the businesses that have seen the light and are helping out.
No matter which way you go ... the bees thank you for your help.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.