From June 22-28, Americans from over 30 states celebrated Pollinator Week, a week long campaign that started back in 2007 by the Pollinator Partnership. Founded on a mission to promote the health of pollinators, critical to food and ecosystems, through conservation, education, and research, Pollinator Partnership sponsors initiatives ranging from Pollinator Week and the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign to Ecoregional Planting Guides.
In its 13th consecutive year, Pollinator Week 2020 looked a bit different because of COVID-19, featuring virtual gatherings, webinars, responsible planting sessions, socially distant garden and farm walks, and monument lightings.
One manufacturer celebrated Pollinator Week by offering a giveaway to followers. Mikaila Ulmer, the 15-year-old CEO and Founder of Me & the Bees, a honey-sweetened lemonade line, gave back through her Healthy Hive Foundation. The foundation was born in 2016 to save bees through education, research, and protection, and to inspire social entrepreneurship. Giveaways ranged from Me & the Bees, honey flavored lemonades, merchandise and lip balms.
Ulmer began her journey learning about bees after she got stung twice as a young girl. It made a lasting impression, and sparked her curiosity. Since then, she’s made it her mission to support bee populations and educate others.
“I started a healthy hive in 2016, with the goal to save the bees through research education and protection,” Mikaila said in an interview with WholeFoods Magazine. “We’re researching why bees are dying, how we can save them, and what is causing the decline in bee populations.”
The young entrepreneur has inspirational goals.
“I want to create an app to educate people on the perspective of a bee. The app will teach people about how to protect bees.”
The Healthy Hive Foundation works with universities and companies to turn their lands into pollinator corridors. For Pollinator Week, they partnered with San Francisco State University on preliminary research data about wildfires affecting bee populations.
“Our approach of inclusiveness and collaboration is helping promote dialogue across all sectors of land management in North America,” said Laurie Davies Adams, President and CEO of Pollinator Partnership, in a press release.
It’s important work. As EPA Assistant Administrator Alexandra Dapolito Dunn stated, “Pollinators are vital to both our agricultural food supply and a healthy environment. Protecting pollinators requires the work of dedicated people across the nation, and we are proud to partner with Pollinator Partnership to achieve our shared goals.”