whole foods market

Planet Bee founders Debra and Bill were already elbow-deep in honey and bee education when a local Whole Foods Market store in Novato, California asked if they would be interested in presenting a honey bee workshop inside the store that would be free and open to the local community.

Parents brought kids, couples attended together and everyone shopping in the store couldn’t resist stopping to take a close-up look at all the busy bees in the observation hive.

Word got out and demand grew. Debra and Bill developed two workshop series to hold at the stores: Introduction to Backyard Beekeeping, suited for teens and adults, and Bees are a Blast, a fun family-oriented workshop for all ages. Workshops were held year round, and soon the Novato store was the recipient of Planet Bee’s Adopt-a-Hive program and honey bees thrived on their outdoor patio.

All the while, Whole Foods Market was growing its Share the Buzz campaign across the country to educate their customers about the massive die off of honey bees due to Colony Collapse Disorder and other environmental factors. Whole Foods Market customers are already a savvy bunch concerned with where and how their food is grown, and environmental stewards just by the nature of their purchasing power of earth-friendly products. Whole Foods Market’s Whole Kids Foundation began to think about incorporating beehives into its School Garden Grant Program. Their stores were abuzz with bee and pollination education and we were proud to be a part of it!

Our partnership with Whole Foods Market has blossomed! We couldn’t be more thrilled they chose us to be recipients of their April 8, 2015 5% Day and look forward to providing educational programs in over 86 schools and nonprofits within stores’ local communities over the next two years. To top it off, we donated 42 beehives to stores that were raffled off to raise awareness of the plight of struggling honey bees and encouraged everyone to become a backyard (or rooftop) beekeeper!