This New Year, Let's Make Our Gardens Buzz This New Year, Let's Make Our Gardens Buzz

This New Year, Let's Make Our Gardens Buzz

by Zeke Freeman

December 16, 2013

One of my favorite sayings is, “Dream out loud.” I’m not sure who first planted this thought into my head, but it's been with me for years—and it really helps me set expectations for myself and accomplish the things I want to do. Many people I know are scared to talk about the things they really want to accomplish for fear they’ll look foolish if they don’t or that they’ll jinx that "something." 

I believe if you put your dreams and desires “out there,” especially if they’re difficult to achieve or they’re for a common good, friends, relatives and a surprising number of people you’ve never met will jump in and help.

My company Bee Raw has been working with American family apiaries for more than 10 years to produce the highest quality, raw, single varietal honeys. It’s a ton of work and expense for our beekeepers to haul their bees onto a truck, down an old logging road, to an abandoned clear cut where wild raspberries spontaneously emerge, with bees making honey like you’ve never tasted before. For 10 years, we’ve been paying these apiaries a premium for this labor of love, to provide our customers with a first-class honey. In addition, we help to keep beekeepers from having to sell their honey into the commodity market price or worse—having to survive by trucking their bees around the country to pollinate crops and expose them to disease and pesticides of unknown locations.

We support the bee industry because bees are responsible for one in three bites of food we eat. Yet in the past five years 30 percent of bee colonies have died for a combination of factors—pesticides, malnutrition, and other unknown factors—that together scientists call Colony Collapse Disorder (CCP).

One percent of Bee Raw’s profits go to Save The Bees, the foundation I started to help save our pollinators. We’re funding research to better understand CCP but most importantly, our mission is to provide you with ways you can help in your own backyard—literally.

It’s as easy as planting some flowers. We’re asking people to Sign Our Pledge to keep a bee-friendly garden. This means planting an organic and pollinator-friendly zone in your yard, park, garden or community space. Sunflowers, calendulas, and zinnias, for example, support bee environments. You don't need more than a few feet of space. Together, we can help save the bees by creating essential pollinator-friendly environments and habitats.

The Bee Raw Save the Bees Fund and Pledge is my personal dream-scream out loud. Everyone is able to pitch in and help, either by pledging to eat organic; buying local fruits, vegetables and honey; not using insecticides; or donating to the Save the Bees Fund, where we finance research as well as partner with organizations and municipalities to create bee-friendly habitats.

Today’s beekeepers are experiencing a great hardship, one that will affect all of us. Bees are dying at an alarming rate. Poor agricultural practices, poor nutrition, insecticides, fungicides and predators are creating a deadly concoction that will eventually affect the availability and price of more than 100 fruits and vegetables. Imagine future generations growing up without strawberries, blueberries, broccoli or apples.

Think about the current obesity problem we’re experiencing and what would happen if broccoli doubled or tripled in price because it lacked bees to pollinate it.

This New Year’s, consider dreaming out loud by making a pledge to yourself, your family, friends, and global citizens to make yourself and our world a truly buzzing place.

This project is part of GOOD's series Push for Good—our guide to crowdsourcing creative progress.

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This New Year, Let's Make Our Gardens Buzz