May 31, 2017

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Support the George Mason Honey Bee Initiative

Mason’s Honey Bee Initiative contributes to the growing efforts related to honey bee sustainability in the region by:

  • Educating students and the community about the interdependence of pollinators and human food sources, and modeling best practices in the management of honey bee hives.
  • Advancing global sustainability initiatives and economic alternatives for underserved regions.
  • Collaborating with public and private groups on improving the Northern Virginia ecosystem and establishing a sustainable business model.

As we build upon successes to date, the Honey Bee Initiative seeks partners to expand our initiatives, including:Gifts from friends and partners like you can help continue and expand upon these efforts.

  • Expand and replicate successful international pilot projects in PerĂș and Colombia. Our work in South American communities focused on women, entrepreneurship, and community empowerment can be replicated in other regions through Central and South America. Already several indigenous communities in PerĂș and Colombia have expressed an interest in establishing a program.
  • Scale successful regional projects like our collaboration with Fairfax County and Covanta to rehabilitate a landfill by creating a pollinator-friendly haven. For example, we can expand the number of hives as well as expand research at the landfill around pollutants and contaminants found in pollen.
  • Create new innovative projects such as a potential pilot project in Appalachia, which is focused on bees, entrepreneurship, and youth. More specifically, we want to develop a pilot program with Wardensville Garden Market to cultivate leadership, entrepreneurial, and critical thinking skills in Appalachian youth and college students as they learn about all aspects of running a business.
  • Establish a business class for our students based on sustainable food, health, and well-being. The idea would be for our students to launch a business based on bee-products, bee-swag, and food innovations in order to gain hands-on experience running a business.
  • Increase the number of hives in Northern Virginia from 50 to 250 so honey and wax production can result in a sustainable business model. Honey (regular and creamed) and candles (tea light and taper) are products that can be produced in large quantities with sufficient hives and equipment.
  • Launch a bee museum in collaboration with the College of Science, College of Health and Human Services, College of Visual and Performing Arts and College of Education and Human Development to education students, faculty, alumni, school children, and the community about bees and other pollinators.