Here at Planet Bee, we work year round to show love for our earth and the incredible creatures that live on it. Aside from visiting schools teaching kids how to take care of honey bees and engaging with the public at community events, we also help those who want to adopt their own hive. After all, one of the best ways to support honey bees is by starting your own hive and using sustainable and bee-friendly techniques!
This special Earth Day blog is all about highlighting all the bee hives that Planet Bee has helped establish through our Adopt-A-Hive Program throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area and the awesome organizations that have partnered with us to make it all possible!
Campus Beehives on School Grounds
We mainly work with youth, so it should come as no surprise that we have some awesome beehives on school campuses!
Visitacion Valley Middle School, San Francisco
There are some schools that truly take the Planet Bee mission to heart, and one example is Visitacion Valley Middle School. Their principal has committed to providing students with ongoing Planet Bee programming, as well as accessibility to the beehives by placing them right in the school's bee-friendly garden. Planet Bee partner, EcoBee, is proud to sponsor a hive and multiple Humble Honey Bee Lessons at Visitacion Valley. EcoBee's support shows a true commitment to our mission of creating a generation of environmental stewards
Marin Catholic High School, Greenbrae, CA
Located in beautiful Marin County, Marin Catholic High School (otherwise known as MC) students started a grassroots school bee club over three years ago, and were granted 3 beehives through our partnership with NorCal Whole Foods Market. Note the adorable paintings on the side of the hives. Their campus hives are thriving and still going strong today. MC is working towards implementing sustainability into the school wide curriculum to emphasize the interconnectedness of all living things. Students enjoy watching worker bees (all girls) forage as they pass between classes. No doubt, these studious buzzing "gals" are loving all the bee-friendly flowers on school grounds.
Community Gardens and Farms
Most of our in-school lessons take place in the school's garden, so naturally, we have beehives at community gardens, too!
Acta Non Verba, Oakland, CA
Acta Non Verba's (ANV) philosophy is right in the name, "Actions not Words". And the bees would probably agree--being that they can't speak to begin with! This hive was sponsored by NorCal Whole Foods Market. ANV farm in East Oakland is doing amazing things to empower students through urban farming. Their quarter acre farm is located in the City of Oakland’s Tassafaronga Park is planned, planted, harvested and sold by youth in grades K-8. One hundred percent of the proceeds are placed into individual savings accounts for those who participate. Our bees are doing important work, providing their fruits and vegetables with reliable pollination year round.
City Slicker Farms, Oakland, CA
One of newest partners, we are thrilled to be working with such an incredible community. Clif Bar generously donated 3 beehives to City Slicker Farms, that we maintain. This amazing farm believes that healthy, affordable food is a universal human right. Program participants learn to grow nutritious vegetables and cook delicious meals for themselves and their families, using time-tested, cost-effective, and environmentally sound methods. Planet Bee is grateful to partner with City Slicker Farms to spread awareness of honey bees to the Oakland community. Check out our founder and lead beekeeper Bill, giving a workshop to the local community at their annual Autumn Harvest Festival.
Golden Gate Park CommUnity Garden, San Francisco
People from all over San Francisco own plots in this cute community garden in Golden Gate Park. Luckily for them, they have some pollinators in residence! Our beehives at the San Francisco Rec and Parks (SFRPD) CommUNITY Garden work tirelessly to pollinate crops planted in 67 community raised bed maintained by community plot holders. Over the last 4 year, we've done hive dives and educational workshops for the community as well as an annual honey spinning workshop with SFRPD Youth Stewardship Program Interns. Common landscape materials (mulch, chips and fines) is stocked in holding bins for the community and a gardening-tool lending library is available. SFRPD seeks to emphasize environmentally sustainable practices at the site in its design and programmatic and operating features, including a native plant nursery.
Some of our corporate sponsors have gotten so excited about protecting the bees that they've chosen to adopt beehives on their very own campuses!
Keller Estate Winery, Petaluma, CA
In the beautiful wine country you may come across Keller Estate Winery, which has been in the winemaking business since 1989. This gorgeous winery is committed to helping the bees, not only through beekeeping, but also through education! Last fall, Planet Bee gave a bee basics workshop and went elbow deep in the hive with wine club members and their middle school children. These wine loving novices learned all about life in the hive and the importance of pollinators to life as we know it. Talk about creating the next generation of environmental stewards!
Sutro Tower, San Francisco, CA
High on the hills of Twin Peaks sits the iconic Sutro Tower, and who would have guessed that bees live right underneath! These bees prove that radio and television waves aren't so detrimental to bees, and apparently neither is fog. Against all odds, these bees have done great, and even produced some delicious honey this past year.
Sutro Tower is the Bay Area’s most visible icon. Antennas on the 977-foot-high steel tower safely deliver clear signals throughout the San Francisco Bay Area for television and radio stations; essential communication services for public safety, transportation and other agencies or private providers; and unique, non-stop transmission opportunities for emerging technologies.
Sutro Tower is used by 11 television stations, four FM radio stations, satellite and cable providers, and nearly two dozen public and commercial wireless communication services.
SAP, Palo Alto, CA
How cool is it that honey bees make honey, right? Well, our partners at SAP are hosts to five healthy bee hives located directly above their organic vegetable garden. Employees get to learn about life inside the hive at our annual Honey Spinning Event as they go dive into their hives with our beekeeper and educators. Team building is the focus as SAP "worker bees" scape frames to uncap comb revealing gorgeous delicious fresh raw honey. Next up, the honey is jarred and given to employees as sweet treat. Going on 5 years at SAP, we are thrilled to keep them buzzing!
SAP headquarters is located in the Silicon Valley and is the market leader in enterprise application software. Their software helps streamline processes, giving you the ability to use real-time data to predict customer trends across your entire business.
Google Headquarters, Mountain View, CA
As one of our first and original Bee Green Initiative partners, Google, has taken our Adopt-A-Hive Program to the next level. Located on the Mountain View Campus, we initiated our first team - building and corporate beekeeping program with "Googlers". Four Beekeeping Club beehives are located at the Honeyplex Campus and are painted the colors of Google. Each hive has their own employee team tending to it and compete against each other to produce honey and keep their bees strong. Those are some pretty smart bees. This year marked our 8th Annual Honey Harvest at Google with festivities including our self guided hands-on portable museum, mead and honey tasting, and a kids corner.
We can't forget to mention some honorary hives that Planet Bee started way back in its infantry, or shall we say, the larval stage.
Homeward Bound of Marin, Novato, CA
These hives began back in 2011, before Planet Bee even had a name! We've been working with Homeward Bound for 8 consecutive years now, maintaining their hives, doing benefit educational workshops for HBOM and of course, harvesting honey, which is sold as a fundraiser. NorCal Whole Foods Market and EcoBee have donated hives to their farm.
Homeward Bound of Marin is the primary provider of Marin County homeless shelters and services for homeless families and individuals in Marin, California. They operates the only emergency shelter for homeless families in Marin County, which is the entry point for our Family Services Program. They also operate five supportive housing programs for families, including a new site, Oma Village in Novato.
Being homeless is an experience of trauma for both adults and children. Their Family Services Program create an environment to neutralize trauma and provide support as families stabilize and set goals for the future. We are thrilled to support this amazing organization!
Planet Bee Office, San Francisco, CA
What's an organization that focuses on honey bees and environmental education without some hives of their own? Over the years, Planet Bee has been so grateful to partner with so many wonderful organizations and schools, but it all began with beekeeping in our very own backyard. The Planet Bee office hives are instrumental in the work we do. We bring them to schools and events in our observation hive, and spin the honey as a fundraiser to continue providing our programs to schools for low or no cost. Taking care of our very own hives is a good reminder to never forget your roots.
Bee on the lookout for posting about our new Adopt-A-Hive Programs with Stanford University, The Oakland Zoo, and Hacienda Peralta.
Until next time, bee well!
Planet Bee Staff Writer and Educator