As winter settles in with the bees nestled safely in their cocoons, we wanted to take this time to share our journey through 2022!
As we look back on our favorite moments from the past year, it was easy to pick out the thread that tied them all together — collaboration.
We believe that collaboration is essential to tackle the many environmental challenges of today, and we're proud to have had the opportunity to team with so many people, companies, and organizations that are working to protect and restore our pollinator populations, and our planet.
Here are a few highlights from 2022!
Even with the abnormal temperatures that swept across the country this past year, we had another successful Bee Buy Back and Bee Farmer season!
We've harvested, inspected for pests and disease, and cleaned over 257,000 mason bee cocoons from all across the country. That's enough to pollinate over 12,800 gardens in 2023! The bees are now overwintering in our temperature-controlled coolers, patiently awaiting spring.
Thanks to you, we can continue to provide healthy, region-specific mason bees to gardeners and farmers across the country.
We're super excited about our partnership with Planet Bee! Planet Bee is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a green-minded generation by teaching about the importance of bees (native and honey) to schools, nonprofits, and corporations.
Last year, we donated around 800 filled reeds (about 6,000 - 7,000 mason bee cocoons) for Planet Bee to help teach about mason bees in their native bee citizen science lessons and programs.
We're also working closely with the team at Planet Bee to provide insight into best practices in the mason bee industry, advice for educators learning to incorporate native bees into their classrooms, and materials for corporate team-building workshops across the U.S. and Canada.
We're proud to share that we've partnered with Pollinator Partnership to help introduce their Bee Friendly Farming Garden program!
By becoming a Bee Friendly Garden community member, you are connecting to a larger network of Bee Friendly Farming Certified producers and supporting responsible farming practices. Members also benefit by learning how to incorporate simple, science-based gardening techniques, like offering nutrition and habitat for bees and implementing integrated pest management strategies, in their yards and gardens.
What's fantastic is that many in our bee-raising community already meet most garden criteria! So, becoming a member is an easy way to show your support for our native pollinators.
- Plant native plants to provide nectar and pollen throughout the bloom season.
- Provide nesting sites through permanent plantings, bare ground, tree stumps, or bee houses.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of pesticides. Don't apply chemicals to blooming plants when pollinators are foraging.
We are happy to announce that we have joined the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV) partners network!
MJV is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, businesses, and academic programs working together to protect the monarch migration across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
We are excited to work with MJV, and to have their knowledge and expertise in monarchs and their migration to help create pollinator habitats that benefit both bees and butterflies.
While protecting our pollinators is a global issue, we also believe in the power of local action. Dave Hunter, Founder and Owner of Crown Bees, is a member of the Rotary Club of Woodinville and has played a significant role in forming the Partners in Pollination program.
Partners in Pollination is a collaborative project between Woodinville Rotary, the City of Woodinville, the Woodinville Chamber, Pollinator Pathway, Crown Bees, Molbak's and the Woodinville Garden Club to build pollinator-friendly ecosystems in the city.
In December, Columbia Winery gave 50 free wine barrels to the Rotary Club to use as small pollinator gardens for the front of businesses and apartment buildings in Woodinville.
We're excited to see these mini pollinator gardens bloom this spring!
Iowa State Extension
Over the past two years, we collaborated with Iowa State Extension's Pollinator Education and Action for Youth working group to design and implement its program goals and objectives.
Pollinators are essential for maintaining the production of many food crops. Diseases, parasites, climate change, pesticide use, and habitat loss negatively impact pollinators. In its first two years, the Pollinator Education and Action for Youth working group (PEAFWG) has created a curriculum for youth in grades K-12 to increase knowledge about the biology, importance, and conservation of pollinators, including awareness of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In the spring, summer, and fall of 2022, the group provided curriculum training and supporting resources to K-12 and extension educators in four states (IA, NE, IL, and OH).
In 2023, the plan is to expand youth pollinator education work by improving educator resources, providing resources to additional educators and more states, and increasing habitat for pollinators through these experiences.
Launch of Cocoon Comb Made from End-Of-Life Fishing Gear
Some of you may remember this story from when we first launched the new cocoon comb back in September, but it was such a cool project, we just had to mention it again!
One of our goals for 2022 was to transition away from single-use plastic and virgin plastic in our packaging and product materials.
To make our Cocoon Comb out of 100% post-consumer plastic, we needed to find a source of recycled plastic pellets and a manufacturer who would agree to work with lower volumes of recycled pellets. So, we set out to find local companies and partners creating solutions to improve methods for collecting plastic waste and recycling it into new products. Our search led us to collaborate with Net Your Problem, Ocean Legacy’s Legacy Plastics, and SEA-LECT Plastics to create our Cocoon Comb!