You know how obsessed we are with saving the bees. We’re happy to report we are not the only ones! Here are a few other amazing organizations you should know about.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation (named for the first butterfly species known to go extinct in North America due to humans) is an international non-profit dedicated to conservation efforts for the bees and beyond.
This many-pronged organization engages not only in raising awareness and political advocacy, but also in incredible community science projects, research, and education. Their FAQ page has a wealth of resources, from where to buy native milkweed seeds, to links to other conservation resources.
Started in 2014 and based in the UK, the World Bee Project uses artificial intelligence and smart sensors to provide data on thousands of bee hives around the globe.
The World Bee Project
The World Bee Project draws on the same sensor technology individual beekeepers use to monitor their own hives, expanding the reach of this technology and, vitally, providing an AI-driven analysis of all this data in one location.
But it’s not just a cool tech trick. This analysis allows researchers to see real-time data about bees, including the impacts of agriculture, pesticide, disease, and parasites. Technology used by the World Bee Project also helps scientists learn more about bee behavior and communication.
And the more we know about bees and other beneficial insects, the more we can do to save them.
The Bee Conservancy
Launched in 2009 by a Cuban-American immigrant, The Bee Conservancy has the dual aim of saving the bees and empowering underserved communities—especially those in urban environments and food deserts—to grow their own food and increase green space in their neighborhoods.
The Bee Conservancy’s two main projects are both rooted in direct action and education. Their Sponsor-a-Hive project grants honeybee hives and custom-built native bee homes to communities across the U.S. and Canada, along with educational materials aimed at encouraging bee stewardship.
Their Bee Sanctuaries are hives and native-bee homes placed in semi-public areas like zoos, urban farms, and roof gardens. The sanctuaries are maintained by the Conservancy’s own beekeepers with the goal of public observation and education, as well as increasing and protecting the native bee population.
The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund
There are a ton of wonderful, bee friendly habitat projects, but The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund was founded specifically to increase the efficiency and efficacy of habitat regeneration.
Their basic goal is to provide increased access to high-quality nutrition resources for pollinators, which they achieve through partnerships with farms and ranches. The Habitat Fund offers free or discounted seed mixes to stewards of private, public, and corporate lands, along with educational materials to promote the creation and management of pollinator habitat.
In return, landowners allow the Habitat Fund to monitor these plantings to test the efficacy of their program and refine their strategies. Their NextGen “Seed a Legacy” habitat projects use seed mixtures that are optimized for pollinators, offering plants that appeal to a variety of different species as well as flowers that bloom throughout the growing season. By focusing on ease and efficiency, The Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund makes it simple for landowners to support pollinators.
Bees for Development
Bees for Development is a global project aiming to address the dual concerns of biodiversity and poverty by empowering people in impoverished communities to keep bees. Beekeeping can offer a reliable income to people without other resources, and increased stewardship of native pollinators can combat decreasing pollinator populations globally. Bees for Development is special in part because they work with local partners in the communities they serve. As they put it, “We use local skills, local materials, and local bees.”
Pollinator Partnership Canada
One organization seemingly doing it all in our neighbor to the north is Pollinator Partnership Canada.
In addition to nationwide and local advocacy projects, they offer special curriculum kits to schools and develop regional planting guides to support pollinators. Their signature initiative is called Bee City Canada, which developed a set of guidelines for creating pollinator habitats that can be used by cities, schools, and First Nations communities who wish to participate. Eligible communities and habitat projects can be recognized as a Bee Partner, Bee City, Bee School, or Bee Campus—since 2015, more than 100 such projects or cities have been granted this designation.
People and Pollinators Action Network
An excellent example of how focusing on a single region can help harness the energy of pollinator protectors is the People and Pollinators Action Network of Colorado.
One thing we hear over and over in pollinator conservation communities is how important it is to focus on local, native species and habitat loss. Every community has its own specific native pollinators, its own particular geography, and its own economic and ecological challenges. By choosing to focus on a single region—city, county, or state—an organization can narrow its focus and potentially become much more efficient. People and Pollinators Action Network works at all levels across Colorado, from individual homeowners to the Colorado Department of Transportation, to increase pollinator habitat.
Two of the United Nations programs have been involved with pollinator protection efforts: the United Nations Development Program, and the United Nations Environment Program. UNEP announced a five-year initiative in 2008 aimed at developing and disseminating “best practices” for maintaining and protecting pollinators.
They have ongoing research projects dedicated to monitoring the status of pollinators worldwide. UNDP is the United Nations program dedicated to ending poverty and protecting the planet, and considers pollinator protection an important part of several of their Sustainable Development Goals—particularly eradicating hunger, providing employment, and increasing biodiversity. UNDP works with communities worldwide on sustainable agriculture and pollinator protection efforts.
The Bee Girl
Teaching the next generation to love and care for the natural world is crucial if we’re going to save it. The Bee Girl focuses particularly on educating little ones on the importance of bees and their conservation.
This organization is notable for going beyond the “nuts and bolts” of conservation to bringing the beauty and magic of bees and the natural world into the forefront of what they do.
Me & the Bees Lemonade
Proof that just one passionate person can make a difference: Me & the Bees Lemonade founder Mikaila.
After having been stung by a bee, a young girl learns all about bees and their importance to our communities. With the encouragement of her family—and an old family recipe for lemonade—she participates in a children’s business competition, and the rest is history. Mikaila’s determination to help save the bees led her to donate a percentage of her profits to organizations starting back when her lemonade was sold at a stand—instead of bottled and sold in stores across Texas.
Now she has launched The Healthy Hive Foundation to increase her impact for bees and their habitats.