Our work, Our Impact
We have placed more than 5000 hives on rural and urban land in California, over the last 12 years. We would like to continue doing this at a more aggressive rate, placing these pollinators on properties where individuals can and want to care for the bees. We want to expand our pollination efforts as well. We currently have rooftop hives at universities, hotels, commercial buildings, and a few government-owned properties.
These rooftop apiaries can provide the much-needed pollination around the communities in which they are placed, creating what we call “green wedges” in urban areas, as green roofs help to provide vegetation for water control and wildlife habitat. They improve air quality and are aesthetically beautiful. Building these green treasures can also help a building earn credits toward LEED (Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design) certification. This type of certification is highly sought after by developers as it’s a type of wellness stamp, which is really a stamp of approval from Mother Earth herself and we want to help grow that approval as much as possible. These type of microfarms buzzing with thousands of the world’s master pollinators is nothing short of magical. There are so many creative ways that we can help maintain and grow the health of this planet. With the world’s population at more than seven billion, keeping honeybees happy, healthy and abundant, is crucial to feeding the planet. Wild plants depend on pollinators, and without bees, the future is going to be geared toward more high-tech plant engineering to be able to keep up with food production and farming. This is not the road we want to be on, that’s for certain. The deeper the roots of the foundation grow, the farther our efforts can be received. BeeQuilbrium has given away hundreds of pounds of plant seed, educating people on how they can help to sustain pollinator-friendly habitats and worked hard to help overturn a 136-year ban on urban beekeeping within our local cities.
Another program called Bee City USA is an initiative of the Xerces Society and Bee City USA fosters ongoing dialogue in urban areas to raise awareness of the role native pollinators play in our communities and what each of us can do to provide them with healthy habitat. Research has shown significant declines in pollinator population sizes and ranges globally.
The Bee City USA program endorses a set of commitments, defined in a resolution, for creating sustainable habitats for native pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet. Incorporated cities, towns, and communities across America are invited to make these commitments and become certified as a Bee City USA affiliate. More recently, a large public research university in Los Angeles, with whom we have been working with for 15 years, asked us to be on the committee and head their program to advocate for pollinators, as they have begun the process of becoming Bee City USA certified.
California is a true biodiverse hotspot, as we have four of the five major biomes found in the world. The biomes in California ranges from chaparral, temperate coniferous forest, mountains, and desert. Each biome is home to numerous flora and fauna, making its global importance priceless. BeeQuilbrium aspires to continue teaching bee husbandry within the states and abroad, in other locations that are facing an eco-crisis where bee populations have diminished.
This is a tough topic to discuss, but we need to. Another issue that we are very disturbed and impassioned about is the use of pesticides and herbicides in California and across the country; which has led to the enormous decline in honeybees over the years. The numbers some years are staggering. These pesticides make the bees sick and it weakens their immune systems. These toxic chemicals cause cancer in humans. That is the ugly truth. Of course, climate change, the loss of pollinator habitat, and other systemic diseases play a role in the severe decline of our honeybee population, but the liberal use of these poisons used is the primary culprit to what is hurting us and the bees.
Researchers found a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids that was especially lethal to bee. In 2018, the EPA pulled a dozen “neonics” from the market following a successful lawsuit brought by beekeepers and environmental groups. There have been hundreds of lawsuits since. A widely known chemical called glyphosate is used in Roundup Ready crops. These are genetically modified seeds to be resistant to the herbicide Roundup. Roundup is the brand-name of the herbicide produced by Monsanto. Each year, in the U.S. approximately 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on crops, commercial nurseries, lawns, driveways, sidewalks, parks, and golf courses.
Monsanto introduced Roundup in 1974 after discovering that glyphosate kills weeds by blocking proteins essential to plant growth. The company had exclusive rights to the chemical as a weed killer until 2000 when its patent expired. Today, more than 160 countries use more than 1.4 billion pounds of glyphosate every year.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believed glyphosate might cause cancer in the 1980s. While they reversed their decision based on a lack of convincing carcinogenicity evidence at the time, there has been significant growth in evidence linking the ingredient, glyphosate to cancer.
There are many other chemicals that are not labeled as bee-toxic, even though they make bees sick, shorten their life span, and essentially cause a huge disparity, allowing foraging bees to gradually take back the poison to the entire colony. We are huge advocates for eliminating the use of toxic pesticides and herbicides on the crops that grow our foods and on the land that lives on, and that ultimately become the battlefields that we send billions of our nation’s bees to.
Glyphosate is being slowly being banned because of its potential link to cancer in humans, as well as potentially causing the death of important insects, such as bees. Biologists have sounded the alarm over the serious decline in insect populations that affect species diversity. In addition, scientists warn that these glyphosate and other similar products damage ecosystems by disrupting the natural food chains and plant pollination.
While legislation has been introduced and moratoriums have been enacted to not allow the use certain of glyphosate, only 17 states in the US so far, have adopted the ban. At this time, there are 27 other countries currently across the globe, that have banned the use of glyphosate. We want those numbers to grow and will be involved in any way we can, to forge this path forward on banning this use of these chemicals that are crippling us as humans, stripping our food from the nutrients we need and essentially damaging our agricultural and ecological environments. We hope to not only see a worldwide ban of these chemicals and others like it, but also legislation to be presented and adopted on making it illegal to kill honeybees
Our commitment stands firm on our promise to help protect nature, to allow the flowers to bloom and the bees to then arrive.