New York Bee Sanctuary to Open Wildlife Conservation Site Dedicated to Observing, Protecting and Understanding Honey Bees
One of every three bites of food eaten worldwide depends on pollinators, especially bees, for a successful harvest. To combat further degradation of the world’s declining bee populations, New York Bee Sanctuary has announced plans to build a wildlife refuge in upstate New York dedicated to pollinator conservation, advocacy, research, and education. The unprecedented initiative is designed to create one interconnected hub for beekeepers, researchers, educators, environmentalists, artists, businesses, universities, and the general public. By bringing these groups together, this nonprofit organization aims to create solutions for safeguarding honey bees and wild pollinators. The public opening of the sanctuary is tentatively set for summer 2016.
“More than $15 billion worth of U.S. crops are pollinated each year by bees, and they produce $150 million of honey. Bees touch at least 40 percent of the world’s crops and 90 percent of our wild plants. Most people don’t realize that without bees, many plants and food crops would die off,” said Guillaume Gauthereau, executive director of New York Bee Sanctuary. “The problem is honey bees and other pollinators are facing a major crisis due to loss of habitat, pesticide contamination, and diseases. We felt the need to take action to prevent these beautiful and vital species from suffering and disappearing.”
Founded by CEO and serial entrepreneur Guillaume Gauthereau, New York Bee Sanctuary will protect New York State’s honey bees and pollinators by setting aside a natural landscape rich in biodiversity. It will provide education opportunities for beekeepers and farmers with examples of bee-conscious practices, as well as workshops, art classes, and tours for students and other visitors. The sanctuary will also develop research programs to better understand honey bees and pollinators by collecting samples from local beekeepers and creating a hub for bee science in New York.
“Visitors to New York Bee Sanctuary will experience floral landscapes from the perspective of a pollinator so that they can appreciate how pollinators, in turn, shape our environment,” added Gauthereau. “The landscape will inspire and teach visitors how they can help to improve habitat, protect bees from harmful pesticides, and promote bee health and diversity. The overall aim is to integrate humans within a landscape that is fit for both pollinator and human health.”
New York Bee Sanctuary will be located on approximately 50 acres of land, a short drive from New York City, in or near Catskill Park. The natural landscape will be enhanced with help from permaculture specialists who will cover the sanctuary with a variety of bee- and pollinator-friendly flowers, fruit trees, and berry bushes. The permaculture gardens will provide an ongoing food supply for the bees as well as seasonal organic produce for humans.
While construction of the site is underway, New York Bee Sanctuary will provide various offsite programs and events, including WILDFLOWER BOOM, a planting initiative that will designate schools, community gardens, public buildings, private lands, and roadways as bee-friendly through the use of native flora. Supporters can subscribe to the sanctuary newsletter to learn about events that advocate for our vital insect friends.
New York Bee Sanctuary also announced the addition of Evan M. O’Neil as director of development. Prior to working with the sanctuary, O’Neil edited the online magazine Policy Innovations for Carnegie Council, focusing on renewable energy, environmental politics, and conservation. He is a board member of Climate Ride, a charity cycling event that supports green organizations across the United States. Additionally, the sanctuary has assembled an impressive advisory board of environmentalists and bee experts, including Heather Gamper, Nicolas Vidal-Naquet, Mark A. Izeman, Dan Carr, Noah Wilson-Rich, and Sarah Red-Laird.
To support the construction of New York Bee Sanctuary and learn more about its programs, please visit http://www.newyorkbeesanctuary.org.
Source: Green Living Newsletter – July-August 2015 Starfish Junction Productions <firstname.lastname@example.org>