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2023: An Un-Bee-Lievable Year in Review

2023: An Un-Bee-Lievable Year in Review

From starting out the year at the Farm Show to hosting a successful Honey Harvest at Google, 2023 has been full of un-BEE-lievable growth for our hive. At Planet Bee, we strive to make an impact in the world, one bee and one mind at a time. Through our programs, we touched the lives of over 150,000 individuals this year, expanded our team by three staff members, were awarded two grants, buzzed around and educated folks in communities, and launched a new curriculum! To say our hive has been busy is a bit of an understatement as we continue to work on positively impacting through our pillars of education, community & corporate support. 

Our education team launched into teaching over 9,000 students through synchronous STEM Lessons and over 49,000 students through asynchronous lessons. If that was not enough, they dove right into pollination season by developing two new Virtual STEM Lessons, hosted BeeKeepers in Education Certificate courses for backyard beekeepers, and partnered with The GIANT Company, our premiere partner, to launch Beeyond HarvestED garden and agriculture curriculum for schools. Moving into 2024, we are thrilled to begin piloting a program for students to learn how to code and work with sensors for bee hives and native bee nests sponsored by Farnell/Avnet. With this technology, students will be able to conduct their own research and learn even more about how bees impact the world we live in today.

Pennsylvania Flower Show in Philadephia, PA
Pennsylvania Flower Show in Philadephia, PA

Launching into more of our education programs, Dr. Jason Graham led the implementation of our Native Bee Community Science Program at Stanford University this fall. This program allows students the ability to take a look at the world of bees in a new light. With each Native Bee Nest equipped with a unique QR Code, students can scan the information to learn more about native bees, log their own findings, and help with essential Bee research as they walk through campus. San Francisco Botanical Gardens, Hershey Gardens, Chester Ridley Crum Watersheds, and Genentech are primed to launch their Native Bee program in the spring. 

Stanford University Native Bee Nest Project, Palo Alto, CA
Stanford University Native Bee Nest Project, Palo Alto, CA

Integrating our educational programs within our communities is what makes our 2023 impact so sweet. Our team was busy bringing our programs to life at The PA Flower Show, the New Cumberland Apple Festival, local libraries, Earth Day Events, Community Gardens, STEM Fairs, and so much more while continuing to cultivate meaningful connections with our partners such as Johnny Was, The San Francisco Rec and Parks, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy, California Academy of Sciences, PA Department of Agriculture, PA Department of Education, Hershey Gardens and WITF/PBS Network. 

PBS/WITF Fair  at The BRIDGE, Harrisburg PA
PBS/WITF Fair at The BRIDGE, Harrisburg PA

As we continue to look ahead to the next year, we are excited to announce two major grants that were awarded to our organization. Our first grant will deepen our partnerships with the California Department of Agriculture as we begin our three-year Pollinator Habitat Program. In partnership with 20 small, urban farms in the Bay Area, we will work with them to plant habitats to support local pollinators and develop a program where native bees can continue to thrive. On the East Coast, we are partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to launch The Honey Path Program, a one-year Beekeeper Mentorship Certification Program. Through this program, young entrepreneurs are paired with a Master Beekeeper to learn the art of what it takes to run a successful hive. 

Planet Bee will support  20 Urban Farms in the SF Bay Area through this 3 year grant
Planet Bee will support 20 Urban Farms in the SF Bay Area through this 3 year grant

Thanks to The GIANT Company, we were also able to award funds to our fellow beekeepers with our Beekeepers in Need Grant. This grant supported beekeepers who experienced major loss with the opportunity to reset and rebuild their bee-utiful hives. 

Another bee-utiful grant that launched this year was in partnership with Farnell/Avnet, who sponsored our Bee Heros Grant. Together, Farnell and Planet Bee Foundation have joined forces to make a difference for local bee populations in North America by supporting beekeepers from all walks of life who bring communities together to educate about these important pollinators as well as those who utilize cutting-edge technology to promote the health of honey bees.

Giant logo

Google HQ Honey Harvest,  Mountainview, CA
Google HQ Honey Harvest, Mountainview, CA

We are eternally grateful to our un-bee-lievable corporate partners who have sponsored programs with their teams, their local communities, and schools. This year, we hosted dynamic hands-on and virtual team-building workshops with Google, NBC, Western Digital, YouTube, Sutro Tower, Cisco, and more! These workshops have impacted over 3400 employees, with more to come as we work with them to bring their vision to life with funds from these programs going back into their communities and local schools. 

Our corporate teams created quite a buzz as they participated in our Adopt-A-Hive Program. Hosting honey bee-filled apiaries on their campuses throughout the country. This program took our corporate campuses by swarm as it brought over 1600 team members out of the office and into the land of bees at Google, Johnny Was, Sutro Towers, Genentech, SAP, and The GIANT Company, just to name a few. Together with our team, we work to keep their hives thriving while the bees work to produce honey in the process. How sweet it is to be able to say this program has harvested over 800 pounds of honey this year! 

We are thrilled and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to be able to impact our local communities and schools, thanks to our generous donors, sponsors, partners, and grantmakers.  We are excited to see what lies ahead. Thank you for being a part of our bee-utiful journey this year, and warmest wishes for an un-bee-lievable 2024! 

NBC Native Bee Nest Team Building Workshop, 30 Rockefeller Plaza , NYC
NBC Native Bee Nest Team Building Workshop, 30 Rockefeller Plaza , NYC


Written by Ashlee Dillon

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