For the Love of Bees

Bees are deep rooted in the history of Honey Stinger.  Honey bees not only produce delicious honey we love, but also play an import role in our ecosystem. Because of this, we continue to partner with Project Apis m., who strive to provide research to “enhance the health and vitality of honey bees while improving crop production”.  The organization’s name derives from the scientific name for the western honeybee Apis mellifera. They’ve shared with us their history, their work in bee conservation, and how you can help support honey bees and other pollinators.

The History

Many people first became aware of the importance of honey bees during the 2006 Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) crisis. During this time, honey bees made international news as they mysteriously disappeared from hives on a massive scale. This crisis not only threatened the honey industry, but  managed honey bees are important to crop pollination. So the crisis also threatened production of healthy foods we consume like almonds, blueberries, squash, melons, and many more.

During the days of CCD, Project Apis m. (PAm) was founded by beekeepers and growers as a grassroots initiative to target solving honey bee health concerns effectively and immediately. By funding scientific honey bee research to focus our understanding on the problems bees are facing, PAm supports practical and impactful results. Since 2006, PAm has become the largest honey bee nonprofit in the United States.  They have funded many projects that have resulted in new and important discoveries and created valuable tools for beekeepers.

PAm & Bee Conservation

CCD symptoms were never solved. Fortunately CCD is not the cause of large scale losses in the US today. However, that does not mean that bees are “out of the woods.” 2018 measured the highest US colony losses since scientists started tracking annual honey bee colony loss. We do know that four key factors stand out as the biggest combined threats to honey bees today. We call them the “Four P’s”: Parasites (Varroa mites), Pathogens, Pesticides, and Poor Nutrition. Most honey bee colonies in the country must deal with all of these problems simultaneously.

Along with research addressing the Four P’s, PAm helps meet the immediate and imperative need of pollinators for habitat restoration (mitigating poor nutrition) through two forage programs, Seeds for Bees® and The Bee and Butterfly Habitat Fund.  The landscape of the US changes and habitat is rapidly being lost to agricultural and urban development. These projects work with farmers and growers to re-claim pollinator habitat by planting flowers that increase the density, diversity, and duration of blooming plants in key areas for pollinators. Along with helping honey bees, these habitat projects help protect native bees, butterflies, song and game birds.  They also provide important environmental sustainability benefits including improved soil health and water quality.

Support for Bees

Honey Stinger is a valued supporter of Project Apis m. Founded by beekeepers, Honey Stinger understands the importance of investing in the future of honey bee health. Organizations like PAm do the unsung work of helping ensure that beekeeping can remain a sustainable industry. Thus, allowing beekeepers to continue caretaking the honey bees that offer us so many important services. Well informed and thoughtful companies like Honey Stinger are important to helping PAm do this work. Donations to Project Apis m. help fund high-quality honey bee research and put more forage and habitat on the landscape where it matters most for bees.

Donating is a great way to support honey bees and pollinators.  But there are other things every individual can do to help bees. Planting blooming flowers is easy – in Colorado, sages, lavender, phacelia and sunflowers are all great drought tolerant options that provide good nutrition for pollinators. They even look great in a garden or landscape. Mowing your lawn less often, providing drinking water for bees, and reducing pesticide use are other easy ways that everyone can help.

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