Bees are still in crisis. The continued loss of habitat and food sources, and the prevalence of chemical pesticides, disease, and parasites means that bee populations continue to struggle. It’s a sober reminder, on World Bee Day, that our work to protect bees and other pollinators is more important than ever.
For over a decade, The Bee Conservancy (TBC) has protected bees and secured environmental and food justice through community-based education, research, habitat creation, and advocacy. This year, we’ve already made impactful strides to this end, including:
- Partnering with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to establish our first Bee Sanctuary exclusively for wild bees at Liberty Park at the World Trade Center in Manhattan. We established pollinator pocket meadows with perennial native plants, defined maintenance strategies to support ground-nesting bees, and installed four of our custom cavity-dwelling bee houses with the help of the Girl Scouts of Greater New York. (Curious about the spring activity of cavity-nesting and honey bees? Check out our recent webinar.)
- Gathering scientific data from our NYC Bee Sanctuaries using Sentinel Apiary Kits from the University of Maryland’s Bee Informed Partnership (BIP), to detect and study Varroa destructor parasites, which can be deadly to colonies. To further Sanctuary best practices and foster community, we’ve established a staff beekeeper program with unified hive inspection practices, data collection, ongoing meetings, and paid training with eCornell.
- Launching an extensive interactive map to catalog the hundreds of community groups who received a native bee house from us in 2021, as well as a social network group for recipients to connect and collaborate.
- Awarding six wonderful candidates a scholarship to eCornell’s 2022-2023 Master Beekeeping Certification Program. This training will help further their current work building education, community, ecology, and food justice through the lens of beekeeping.
- Advocating for a reduction in neonicotinoid pesticides use through vital testimony, calls with legislators, and continued partnership with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). On April 27th, The New York State Assembly passed the Birds and Bees Protection Act, which aims to curbs the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, and the bill is now with the Senate. Read our editorial in the New York Daily News and watch our webinar from earlier this week, which features experts from the NRDC, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Eckerd College speaking on neonics.
- Collecting all of the verified bee species found during the 2022 City Nature Challenge using iNaturalist, which leverages community photos as essential data for scientists. Join our official iNaturalist page to join future TBC community science projects!
This World Bee Day, your help is even more indispensable to our work building a healthier, more resilient future for bees, pollinators, and the planet.
Thank you, as always, for your continued support.
The Bee Conservancy