PSA: Don't forget to enter our awesome healthier Halloween treats giveaway! Our Costa Rica yoga retreat is happening in November! I'd love for you to join us! And, we're down to our last few YBC Holiday Mantra Boxes - our awesome discovery box - so order now if you'd like one! Lastly, if you have the YBC App and take a min to review it, send a screenshot of your review to Lauren and we'll send you a little something in thanks.
Mission: Save the Bees is a five part series from our girl Lauren Wotherspoon, YBC's Marketing and Events Director, who also is passionate about helping educate us on why the bees are disappearing, why it matters, and what we can do about it.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m certifiably addicted to documentaries - actually they’re almost all I watch these days (I may or may not also watch the Kardashians, too #icanthelpit!). When I was living in Europe a few years ago I had a lot of time on my hands so I ended up watching quite a few documentaries. Some of them I was really passionate about and others I couldn't even finish #snoozefest.
There was one documentary in particular that I quickly grew obsessed with: More Than Honey by Markus Imhoof which mainly focused on the relationship between honeybees and small family beekeepers. I didn't know much about bees at the time... I knew I didn't like hornets or wasps and I thought bumblebees were cute and I knew a little about honey but nothing prepared me for what I learned while watching that film. They talked about how the beekeeping industry has drastically changed from last generation to this generation mostly due to CCD or Colony Collapse Disorder in recent years. I know what your thinking, "Whats CCD?" because I had the same reaction. Well lemme tell you, Colony Collapse Disorder is the phenomenon that occurs when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear while leaving behind the queen, immature bees and plenty of honey. At first it doesn't sound that alarming, okay the worker bees left, so what? But as I continued to watch there was one quote in particular that really stuck with me during the film: "if bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would only have four years left to live." (Did you know that one third of our food wouldn’t exist without bees?!) Which made me think...what if these worker bees aren't "disappearing" at all, what if they're dying outside of the colony - unable to return?! I was really intrigued so I made it a personal mission to educate myself about the bee decline and it kinda turned into a little passion of mine over the past two years.
But why are we talking about it now? It wasn’t until recently, when Candace asked if I wanted to attend ShiftCon on behalf of YBC that my interest in bee decline was reignited. ShiftCon, or better known as Shift Conference is a social media conference focusing on wellness, health and the environment. The conference puts on workshops, networking events and discussion panels. When I arrived at the conference, I took a glance at the itinerary for the weekend and was immediately drawn to one panel in particular: How to Help the Bees in Your Backyard and Beyond #YASSSS! To say I was excited is a serious understatement. I think I sent Candace close to 100 messages on how I couldn’t wait for that panel and of course it was on the last day but then I guess all good things are worth waiting for (sigh).
Naturally, I was the first to arrive the moment the doors opened for the panel discussion - no shocker there - but in the 10 minutes that followed, only a few more ladies trickled through the door - three, to be exact. I thought I was in the wrong place or maybe they’d changed the location of the panel because...where was everyone?! If its true that the bees are dying at alarming rates, shouldn't this room be packed?! Turns out, not everyone was as interested in saving the bees because our audience capped out at four including myself. Immediately I was brought back to that same place of feeling intrigued and confused but then I thought, maybe people don’t truly understand the importance of bees, or worse - maybe they don’t even know they’re dying? I decided right then and there that I had to do something this time around and that’s when we decided to do a “Save the Bees” series on the blog for you guys and I'm SO glad I did because It was hands down one of the best panels I’ve ever attended.
Tiffany Finck-Haynes, the ah-mazingly brilliant woman who lead the panel, is a Food Futures Campaigner for the Food and Technology Program at Friends of the Earth and gave us a super informative presentation that covered everything from recent die-off reports to why this is happening and who’s responsible along with tips and tricks we can do in our very own backyards to help save the bees. You guys, she provided us with some eye-opening information and I'm so excited to be sharing all the knowledge I gained from Tiffany and the rest of the hardworking team at FOE.
So what exactly will we cover in this five part mini-series? In the first part I'll cover everything from the importance of bees (did you know they're responsible for pollinating 90% of the world's food - from almonds to tomatoes and strawberries) and the seriousness of Colony Collapse Disorder in recent years (just last winter beekeepers from across the nation consistently reported a loss of between 40-90% of their bees.... um, NINETY PERCENT OF THEIR BEES!) In the second part I'll talk about who and what's really responsible (is it the beekeepers, Monsanto or could we be the problem?!) You'll be shocked to know the answer! In the third episode we're going to get crafty with some fun DIYs you can do at home to help the bees (trust me, you don't wanna miss out on this fun bee home project) and finally in our last episode we'll go over how we can help spread the word to our own friends, family and community.
My mission by the end of this series is to have the YBC community just as excited and passionate about fighting for the bees as I was leaving that panel a few weeks ago. So let me know if you're on board down in the comments below, along with any questions you may have or any fun facts you want to share! I can't wait! Part two comes in a couple weeks, so be on the look out!