Inspiring Sponsor-A-Hive Success Stories

Our national Sponsor-A-Hive program provides free bees, bee homes, equipment and support to local organizations that provide locally-grown food to schools, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers and more. We’re humbled to work with these partner organizations, who are taking the lead in addressing food insecurity, sustainability and bee conservation.

Goodwill Garden at Gannon University

Pennsylvania

2016 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

29% of the population in Erie, PA, lives below the poverty line. To cope, Erie has planted 15 community gardens within the last five years. None had a bee house.

The Honeybee Conservancy donated vibrant bees to The Gannon Goodwill Garden teaching garden at Gannon University in downtown Erie. This introduced beekeeping as a key resource for local food production.

The result? Gannon has educated residents about bees and donated nearly 2,000 pounds of fresh healthy food to people in need.

 

Thunder Valley’s Food Sovereignty Initiative

South Dakota

2016 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

Bees are part of Thunder Valley’s Food Sovereignty Initiative, which is creating a healthy local food system on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. (their grocery store is 90 miles away).  Their bees pollinate a community garden planted and maintained by 10 high school students.

Following receipt of a Sponsor-A-Hive grant, Thunder Valley had a huge crop of over 2,000 lbs. of food. Moreover, now more plants grow well, which was not the case before Thunder Valley acquired more pollinators.

Healthy bee populations make for healthy & sustainable communities Click To Tweet

Inhabit Earth

Florida

2017 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

Inhabit Earth (formerly Earth Learning) created an organic urban farm amid a food desert in Overland, Miami’s historic African-American community.

The farm connects to a local food market that accepts EBT (food stamps) and also offers a youth training program. The Honeybee Conservancy has donated honey bees, materials, and resources, both for pollination on the farm and for the training program. Among other enterprises, Earth Learning plans to teach youth to produce and sell honey in the food market.

 

Giving Garden at Coogan Farm

Connecticut

 2016 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

Giving Garden at Coogan Farm in Connecticut emerged from two sad abandoned lots into one fabulous, flourishing garden! Giving Garden produce is distributed to food pantries, soup kitchens, senior citizen centers, preschools, Veterans centers and a myriad of other social service organizations.

With the help of honey bees, the Eastern Connecticut Community Gardens program has raised 3,500 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables for the region’s hungry families, and served 22,000 people with nutritious, GMO-free food.

The Spitzer School of Architecture Solar Pod Rooftop Garden

New York

 2017 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

The Spitzer School of Architecture has created a rooftop community garden right in the middle of New York City’s high-rise-and-hustle. The Honeybee Conservancy provided two bee hives to help Spitzer pollinate and increase yield from its adjoining Harlem Garden for Urban Food, which provides the vital link among STEM studies, their local food system, and health.

Beyond proving “we can grow in the city,” the garden attracts and educates hundreds of high school on-campus High School for Math, Science and Engineering and CCNY’s college level students – all while providing every visitor with a tangible experience of comprehensive urban sustainability.

 Rooftop hives help urban communities take food production into their own hands Click To Tweet

University of Montana and Garden City Harvest PEAS Farm

Montana

2017 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

The 10-acre PEAS Farm supported by the University of Montana and Garden City Harvest proved to be an ideal place to implement a bee awareness and conservation program.

The program excites and empowers students, helping dispel common fears about stings and swarming often associated with bees. University students, youth, and children learn about the importance of bees and habitat conservation, thanks to the The Honeybee Conservancy grant.

Watch our new video "Local Food Needs Local Bees"

The Center for Local Self Reliance

Washington

2016 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

At The Center for Local Self Reliance, The Honeybee Conservancy donated mason bees and leafcutter bees to pollinate tomatoes and other food that was then distributed to grade school lunches, the local food bank, and a low-income senior housing organization.

 

Elmhurst College

Illinois

2017 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

The Sponsor-A-Hive opportunity encouraged an important change to the bee ordinance in the City of Elmhurst. That opened the door to apiaries at the college’s beautiful arboretum-registered campus, which serves as a model of sustainability. As a registered arboretum, Elmhurst College is an ideal location for a bee habitat and provides an ideal pollination environment with its Woodland Garden, Prairie Garden, Rain Garden, Butterfly Garden and Heritage 1871 Garden.

 

The Greater Newark Conservancy

New Jersey

2016 Sponsor-A-Hive recipient

The Greater Newark Conservancy's 1.5 acre Urban Environmental Center features themed teaching gardens, an educational greenhouse, and a demonstration kitchen. They partner with over 50 local schools to promote environmental stewardship and improve the quality of life in New Jersey’s urban communities.

The Sponsor-A-Hive bee house will mainly be used as an educational resource during school programs teaching youth about pollinators and their importance for the ecosystem, as well as increase produce yield for use in the demonstration kitchens, where they teach youth and adult community members how to prepare healthy, garden fresh meals.

With success in bee keeping, they hope to build more homes to integrate into their two farm sites and over 20 community garden sites to increase pollinator populations.

 

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