April 5, 2015

Honey Bee Conservation!

DonateAbout Southwest Honey Co.

Southwest Honey Co. was founded by Alex Cornwell & Megan Ryan as an initiative to protect and conserve the bee population in Fort Wayne, Indiana. On a global level the bee population is declining; which if left unaddressed, will drastically change the world as we know it because of all the pollinating the honey bees do for our food and food for our animals. We exist to promote true conservation, education of the outdoors and the restoration of wildlife. From our hives we harvest local honey that is sold in support of our apiaries and mission to help the honey bee population.

Our beekeeping practices are “bee-safe,” research based and hives are kept with sustainable techniques. We have partnered with local conservation “minded” organizations to study, report and address the issues surrounding the honey bee. This includes a number of organizations on a local, state and national levels.

SARE NorthCentral USDAIn 2016, Southwest Honey Co. received a grant from the USDA’s North Central Region- Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) to study the “Symbiotic relationship between farmers, ranchers and honeybees through consumer education.” The study will evaluate the direct impact and correlation between education through activity-based educational experiences and the choices consumers make to participate in active conservation of the natural environment in the community and at home.

We believe that education is the most effective way to influence and change a community’s perspective on the importance of the honey bee population. Since the summer of 2016 our programs have hosted over 600 participants. Our programs are focused on connecting participants with the environment and ecosystem through the plight of the declining honey bee. These educational experiences include hands-on experiences for children and adults and provide resources to change the future of pollinators.

Our organization is made up of volunteers and partners who want to help the honey bee population. We are proud to announce our operation has been brought to life through sponsorships and partnerships with  Betterbee, Wheeler’s Bees (Ossian, IN), ACRES Land Trust, organic farms and other local, regional and national conservation, honey and/or beekeeping organizations. We are members of the American Beekeeping Federation, Beekeepers of Indiana Association and Northeastern Indiana Beekeepers Association. > Click here to view biographies of our staff and volunteers.

Want To Help? Name A Bee!

From “Bobee” to “Bee-m Me Up Scotty,” as a part of our “Name A Bee” campaign, with a $5 donation, we’ve had a lot of fun seeing what creative names people have come up with to name their bee! All funds go towards our mission of promoting and preserving the local honeybee population. > We have many “named” bees in our apiaries, click here to view them all!

Name A Bee! – Donate To Our Efforts

$5.00

Name A Bee - Donate

If you had a pet bee, what would you name her?
We’ll let you “adopt” and name as many bees as you would like! Don’t worry, you don’t have to take her home or brush her hair, we’ll do that for you. But since we have over 250,000 honey bees and more born every day, we need your help to name them all!

For each $5 donation, you can name one bee!

Your donation helps our efforts of the preservation, conservation and education to the public of honey bees in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area. We will keep a  running list of all of our “named” bees right here on our website.
Help us save the bees!

Please Enter Your Bees' Name (s)
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Honey Bee Conservation

bees-with-brudeSince the late 1990’s, beekeepers have noticed a decline in the honey bee population including high rates of collapse within colonies. Beekeepers have reported between 30-50% higher rates of hive loss. The declining bee population is a serious concern and issue facing humans globally. Pollinators have a great impact on food production, the balance of ecosystems, and the farming community.

There is an awesome symbiotic relationship between these essential pollinators and food we enjoy every day. For beekeepers, this problem of a declining honeybee population is a constant worry and heartache. However, to the average community member, there is a lack of awareness in regards to the honey bees and the severity of their situation. Often times, the general public unknowingly uses harmful pesticides and treatments for their homes and lawns that hurt these struggling pollinators. Currently, there is a real lack of conservation minded programs in the Fort Wayne area that focus on pollinator education. There are no pollinator education programs within ninety (90) miles of Fort Wayne. This makes it very difficult for educators to find field trips and guest speakers for their science courses and in-field experiences. Adults who are interested in educating themselves on honey bees find themselves traveling long distances to reach programs that only run seasonally in other cities. Not to be confused with beekeeping courses.

The importance of solving these problems offer the chance to help others see the value and importance of these issues surrounding the pollinators and ways to help. These include ideas such as purchasing local honey and produce, and being conscious of daily habits that can be changed or amended to better help the environment in which they live and the honey bees we share it with.

Our Solution

Education is the most effective way to influence and change a community’s perspective on the importance of the honey bee population. Our educational experiences, that include hands-on experiences for many people in our community and provide resources to change the future of pollinators, are a great way to get connected with the people of Fort Wayne.

Most of our classes are hosted on the grounds of the Southwest Conservation Club where students learn about pollinators (honey bees), their impacts on farming, the ecosystem, and the environment, the inner workings of the hive, and the devastation of the bee population and what they can do to help. This includes customized educational experiences for each group: children and youth, adults and seniors. Uniquely, these programs can also be taken on the road! Children are the future of our environment and we believe it is important to cultivate conservation minded practices. Adults are active voters and knowledge of pollinators may impact their ability to influence legislature in favor of protecting pollinators. With education, adults can change their everyday practices and create an immediate impact on agriculture.

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More About Southwest Honey Co.

Raw, Local Honey & Gifts
Our unpasteurized and raw honey is bottled directly from the hive, so you can enjoy with confidence that it has pure nutrients, enzymes, and pollen. . .
> Click To Read More
Learn More About Pollinators
We hold hands-on, fun and educational events and classes for kids (Explore The Honey Bee), adults (Bees & Brew) and seniors (Bees & Tea). . .
> Click To Read More
Help Save Our Bees
Did you know that we can thank a honey bee for one of every three bites of food we take? Join in our cause to help save the bees. . .
> Click To Read More