Giving money to organizations that help bees thrive is a good thing. The right organization can offer new ideas and political strengths that are beyond the individual. I have made a short list of organizations that help and advocate for honey bees and native bees. They differ in size and intent, so I have included descriptions of their organizations. All donations are tax-deductible.
Where to Donate
University of Minnesota’s Bee Lab. Led by Dr. Marla Spivak, the MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished McKnight Professor in Entomology, this lab is a leader in honey bee and native bee research. The UM Bee Lab also offers education and training for new beekeepers. While they receive federal money, they do depend on private donations.
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is an international nonprofit organization that protects invertebrates and their habitats. Their core programs focus on species and habitat conservation, protecting pollinators, and reducing pesticide use. They also provide great information about pollinator plants.
Friends of the Earth is an environmental political organization. They published the report about many nursery plants being treated with bee-killing chemicals. (You can read more about it in my post Why I Won’t Be Buying My Plants at the Big Box Stores.) Politically they challenge the use of neonicotinoids and other chemicals that harm bees.
Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary I have a soft spot for this small honey bee sanctuary in Virginia. They use biodynamic principles in tending their land and the honey bees, while offering many opportunities for education. We could learn a lot from these smaller operations that concentrate on raising healthy bees, without chemicals. They may just be the future of successful beekeeping.
Your local botanical garden. Do you have a local botanical garden or private garden that is chemical free? Perhaps they have gardens and education devoted to pollinators. They would be a great organization to give to.
Do you know of an organization that is doing great things for the bees? I would love to hear about it.