Another school year is wrapped up! As always, it’s been busy and exciting. Here is a recap of our best moments.
This spring, we piloted some awesome new lessons and series offerings at school, giving students the opportunity to look beyond the biology of bees. Students dove into the math involved in honey bee hives by studying hexagons and practiced engineering through the designing and construction of native bee houses, among much more! With our new series offerings, we’re seeing students up to four times a year, deepening our impact and giving them a truly memorable learning experience.
We launched our new National Seed Ball Kit Program with the help of our corporate sponsor, BeeSure! 10 schools from across the country were sent all the supplies needed for every student to create a seed ball, along with a spectacular curriculum packet to keep the learning going. The work of these participating schools has led to the addition of countless flowers in their communities, which will support local pollinators!
As with every year, we held a number of honey harvests with our various Adopt-A-Hive partners. It’s such a joy to work with our partners and see the smiles on their faces as they let loose and embrace the stickiness of harvesting honey. A special thanks to The Oakland Zoo, Stanford University, and San Francisco Rec and Parks Department for getting sticky with us this spring!
We also had a great time building beehives and assembling native bee house kits with the facilitation of our partner, Give2Get! Getting workers together for a good cause not only makes them feel good, but also creates an opportunity for team building and collaboration.
Engaging with the community is an important part of any nonprofit’s role, and we certainly play our part! This spring, we attended the San Francisco Summer Resource Fair to showcase our upcoming summer camp, Olivarez Hobby Day, Oakland Zoo Earth Day, Stanford Earth Day Celebration, and the Lakeshore Elementary Community Superhero Saturday! Our educators, Zach and Sarah, also had the opportunity to lead a stewardship activity at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose’s Legacy Fundraiser Event!
What truly makes our work possible is the support of individuals, corporations, and grantmaking foundations--not to mention the inherent awesomeness of bees. We wish to give a special thanks to our stellar corporate sponsors, as well as the Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals, Clif Bar Family Foundation, The Strong Foundation for Environmental Values, and the Mary A. Crocker Trust for their support. Of course, we can’t forget all of our amazing individual supporters, who prove that many small actions truly add up to make a difference.
We are also absolutely thrilled to share that we’ve received an amazing grant from Graybird Foundation to help Planet Bee focus its marketing efforts and refine our program to be the best it can be. How fortunate and grateful we are for this opportunity to improve our impact on the community. We’re also continuing to work with VmWare, who has dedicated so many hours to helping us fine tune our infrastructure and efficiency.
We are so excited for what’s in store this summer and beyond. If you haven’t already heard, we’re holding our first ever summer camp this July in San Francisco—Camp Bee-yond! We’re so excited to lead our campers through various STEAM activities, experiments, and games. Spots are still available if you think your child would love learning about bees and nature with our two amazing educators.
And if you just can’t get enough of bees, be sure to check out the Planet Bee Summer Reading List for our top bee book picks!
Until next time, bee well!
Written by Zach Parlee
Planet Bee Educator, Staff Writer and Community Outreach