Seasons greetings from the Planet Bee hive! What an eventful fall it's been for us, and what better way to celebrate the end of the year then to recap all the excitement and fun that has taken place over the last few months.
New Additions to Our Hive
This fall, we were fortunate to bring on some wonderful new staff members, including our new educator and outreach coordinator, Zach (that’s me), as well as our four interns--Ginger from UC Berkeley, Jordan and Drea from San Francisco State University, and Nancy from College of Marin. I’ve personally loved learning about the basics of beekeeping by working first hand in the hive. Having recently moved from the Big Island of Hawaii, where I taught middle school science for two years as a Teach for America corps member, I’ve especially enjoyed traveling to different schools around the Bay Area and honing my teaching skills.
Our amazing interns have been invaluable this fall by leading games and activities at tabling events and even helping catch a swarm that landed on a neighbor’s fence! We will miss this group, but look forward to welcoming the new spring interns-- Colleen, Samantha, Christopher, and Denver. Be on the lookout for more about them in the next blog.
Pollinating Young Minds
We’re proud to share that we reached a total of 4,500 students this year through our educational programs, the Humble Honey Bee, the ZomBee Watch Project, and Adopt-A-Hive, adding to our ever growing hive of environmental stewards, which is now 15,000! Our mission continues to be rooted in creating a green-minded generation by inspiring environmental stewardship and individual action through the teaching lens of the struggling honey bee. It’s always such a joy watching a child’s attitude towards honey bees change from fear to admiration after one of our site visits.
Swarming Around Town
This season was packed for us with educating the public at community events, including the Whole Kids Vendor Fair, YSI’s Annual Wildlife Festival, BaySplash, the City Slicker Farms Harvest Festival, North Bay Science Discovery Day, the Bioneers Family Fair, and Discovery Day at AT&T Park. We always have so much fun teaching people about how they can help support our pollinator friends as they interact with our dynamic table top activities and live bees. They even get to make a seed ball to plant to help bees! Some highlights for us were attending awe-inspiring talks by world-renowned change-makers, innovators, and visionaries at the National Bioneers Conference at Marin Center in San Rafael and being part of the Bay Area Discovery Day at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds and AT&T Park with an overall attendance of over 45,000 people!
Fall was the season of honey harvests for us at Planet Bee. During Google’s annual honey harvest, we had a blast tasting mead made by employees from previous year's harvest. We had some seriously sweet and sticky fun scraping honey off the frames by hand at SAP. And we enjoyed taking a group of middle schoolers directly into the hives to pull out the honey frames at Keller Estate Winery.
We also held a beehive building workshop with the Food and Innovation Team at the Clif Bar Headquarters, where employees got busy assembling bee hives, bonding over honey, cheese, and mead tastings, and learning a thing or two about life in the hive from myself and Sarah. By the end of the day, we made a total of 10 beehives, which will be sold at our annual bee sale to support our educational programs!
We were also honored to present an informative lunchtime talk to Earthjustice employees at their headquarters in San Francisco. Of course, we were preaching to the choir as this group is devoted to fighting for environmental justice and advancing the promise of a healthy world for all.
Join Our Hive
A whopping 2,500 seed balls were created by children and adults this fall, which equates to 25,000 California Poppies being added to the Bay Area region. That’s a lot of food for the bees!
We wish to thank all of our community, corporate, nonprofit, and school partners for joining in our mission to foster stewardship for the earth. We couldn’t do it without you.
Join us as we change the world-- one bee and one student at a time!
Help us create the next generation of environmental stewards. Every $10 donation provides a student with a unique up-close experience with bees and the tools to help them!
PS - Be on the lookout next week for Planet Bee's New Year's Resolutions!
Written by Zach Parlee
Planet Bee Educator, Staff Writer and Community Outreach