Today we celebrate World Bee Day by raising awareness of the local beekeeping associations around us. Bees are critical for a strong food system, economic security, and environmental resiliency. Yet pollinator health continues to decline.
Our approach to this crisis is scientific beekeeping; however, beekeeping associations within our communities and networks of beekeepers are also making an impact when it comes to saving the bee populations. These collectives are making beekeeping more accessible and most importantly, you can learn about bees and purchasing beekeeping tools from people that practice sustainable agricultural practices.
The Importance of Bees
By carrying pollen from one flower to another, bees and other pollinators enable not only the production of an abundance of fruits, nuts and seeds, but also more variety and better quality, contributing to food security and nutrition. Bees are arguably the hardest working creatures on the planet.
According to the FAO, “Bees and most flowering plants have developed a complex interdependence during millions of years. An estimated 80 percent of flowering plants are entomophilous; for example, depending more or less on insect pollination to be able to reproduce, and it is estimated that half of the pollinators of tropical plants are bees.”
Continue reading below to learn more about the beekeeping associations and organizations making the world a better place for all of us and the bees.
Boston Area Beekeeping Association
To bring beekeepers together from the Greater Boston area, The Boston Area Beekeeping Association (BABA) formed in 2011. Their mission is to educate current and future beekeepers, bee-enthusiasts as well as the general public through a wide offering of events and partnerships.
BABA hosts regular club meetings, however, one of their most impactful events is The Tour De Hives, a bicycle tour of beehives in the Greater Boston area.
If you’re a bee-enthusiasts or an amateur beekeeper in training, BABA is an organization that is inclusive and strives to make beekeeping accessible. Visit BABA’s website to learn more about membership, upcoming events, and a community to share your love for bees.
Honey Love Urban Beekeepers
Founded by Rob and Chelsea McFarland, co-authors of “Save the Bees with Natural Backyard Hives”, Honey Love Urban Beekeepers is a non-profit organization saving the honeybee through their support of urban beekeeping and agriculture. Their mission is to protect the honeybees by educating our communities and inspiring new urban beekeepers.
When it comes to a swarm that needs relocating, Honey Love advocates for safe removal and re-homing and stands firmly against any use of pesticides and exterminations.
As a member of Honey Love Urban Beekeepers, you’ll receive access to monthly workshops and newsletters, patches for your bee suit, and stickers. Memberships lasts for the duration of the year and you’ll be supporting a grassroots movement of urban beekeepers working to conserve honeybees through educating the community how to live with honeybees and teaching organic beekeeping practices.
Stay informed and up-to-date with Honey Love by following their Facebook page and learning all you need to know about urban and backyard beekeeping.
Beemmunity (New York)
Bee-Munity, similar to The Best Bees Company, is also science minded. Made up of bioengineers, entomologists, beekeepers and programmers, they’re team collaborates to solve one of the earth’s greatest threats – the decline of pollinator species.
Their mission is to protect pollinators from pesticide exposure by revealing the impact of current and emerging pesticides through their treatment and services.
Their team hopes to be transparent regarding pesticides and to ensure that bees are protected. If you’re interested in pesticide protection for bees, look no further. Visit their website and check out their video newsletter episodes to learn more about orders, bee installs, and what Beemmunity is up to.
DC Beekeepers Alliance
The DC Beekeepers Alliance is for knowledgeable beekeepers and wanna-bees. The DC Beekeepers Alliance is a non-profit association of beekeepers in Washington DC, founded in 2010. DC Beekeepers alliance is a membership organization dedicated to honey bee health and beekeeper education in the Nation’s Capital.
The DC Beekeepers Alliance is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit organization operating under the Center for Urban Bee Research, Inc. Their members have colonies in community gardens, schools, backyards, embassies, businesses, places of worship, and an amazing variety of urban locations around DC. As a member, you’ll receive access to priority seating for classes and workshops, use of club equipment such as harvesters, discounted purchases of honey jars, and much more.
In Partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, the DC Beekeepers Alliance manages a beekeeping program to support urban beekeeping and to increase pollination in the District. To ensure that each hive is safe and being responsibly managed, each designated beehive location is managed by the DC Beekeepers Alliance.
In order to be considered for DC’s urban beekeeping program, you must be a resident of the District of Columbia, obtain a certificate of completion from a twelve (12) hour beekeeping course, and have a local mentor. (If you do not have a mentor, one will be provided).
Through outreach projects in schools, churches, rec centers, fairs and farmers markets, and in cooperation with other green organizations, DC Beekeepers Alliance is using the power of volunteers to save the bee population.
Celebrating Urban Beekeepers for World Bee Day
It’s important to celebrate the bees, but it’s equally important to celebrate our urban beekeepers who are dedicating their time and effort to expanding the bee population.
Check back in and read our second installment of Local Beekeepers Saving the Bees to learn more about local associations that are closest to you. In the meantime, what do bees mean to you? Drop us a line on our social media and we’ll share some of our favorites.