Getty Images

J.D. Simkins  – March 23, 2021 | Updated March 29, 2021

home tour logoWildlands is your source for the world of travel, outdoor adventure, conservation, and the stories of those who live wild lives.

For another week, conservation-minded groups have the opportunity to sponsor—and be awarded—a carefully constructed beehive capable of both protecting the species and simultaneously bolstering underserved communities.

Coined “Sponsor-A-Hive,” the North American initiative will provide up to 300 custom bee homes to sponsoring parties, such as schools, community organizations, and nonprofits, who can parlay the wild proficiency of a single hive into food growth and ecological advancement in their respective areas.

“Each year, we provide bee homes, ongoing support, and educational materials to schools, gardens, and other community groups to help foster local native bee resilience,” representatives from The Bee Conservancy said in a release. “Bees lie at the heart of our survival. They pollinate 1 in 3 bites of food we eat and are essential to the health and prosperity of countless ecosystems.”

More Videos From Sunset

Humanity’s beneficial relationship with our buzzing counterparts, however, is now more precarious than ever due to over half of North America’s 4,000 native bee species exhibiting signs of decline, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. Of the total species, 25 percent are at risk of extinction.

That’s where brave Bee-onidis and the 300 homes come in.

“To uphold our commitment to sustainability, we designed a beautiful, lasting home with woodworker Cornelius Schmid that is constructed with Forest Stewardship Council-certified, sustainably-sourced wood,” the organization said.

“Investing further in local communities and green jobs, our houses are manufactured by Brooklyn Woods, an organization that trains unemployed and low-income New Yorkers in woodworking and fabrication skills.”

One sponsor who can attest to the initiative’s efficacy is Kathleen Katstrip, a past Sponsor-A-Hive recipient who has seen the hive “transform two abandoned [Connecticut] lots into a flourishing farm,” she said.

“We’ve already grown 3,500 pounds of fresh, organic vegetables for the region’s hungry families, and reached 22,000 people with free, nutritious GMO-free food.”

The Bee Conservancy, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting bees, safeguarding the environment, and securing food justice through education, research, habitat creation, and advocacy,” is a rebrand of the previously-named Honeybee Conservancy, a move made to reflect the team’s expanded global mission.

Want to learn more about the organization and their ongoing efforts? Follow The Bee Conservancy’s work via their website, or on Facebook or Instagram.

Those interested in sponsoring a hive can apply using this form, which includes instructions on qualifying criteria.

The deadline to apply is March 31. Questions and inquiries can be sent to [email protected]


Read the 2021 Gardening Issue

To read: Click on the right and left arrows at the edge of the box to turn pages; to make the text larger, click on the fullscreen icon in the lower-right corner (desktop) or in the center (mobile).

Get one year of Sunset—and all kinds of bonuses—for just $24.95. Subscribe now!