Partnerships for Change
Lasting change is only possible through collaboration. The Center is building a coalition of partner schools and organizations to accomplish our ambitious goals. Every one of our programs is shaped by the ethos of teamwork and cooperation
- During Homecoming weekend in February 2020, we launched a partnership with Beltway Brewing Company of Sterling, Virginia. Named to pay homage to the year (1957) in which George Mason University was founded, Beltway Brewing utilizes HBI honey in their Patriots 57 - pale ale. A portion of the proceeds are returned to HBI to support future growth of the program and serves as a way to expand awareness of the initiative and provide a tangible link between bees and business.
- Thanks to support from an Institute for Sustainable Earth grant, this fall we announced a partnership with MVLE, a Northern Virginia nonprofit organization dedicated to providing employment opportunities to individuals with disabilities and other barriers. As a result of this venture, individuals at MVLE will be budding entrepreneurs as they make candles from beeswax collected through the Center’s Honey Bee Initiative.
- The honey bee, a naturalized species of pollinator, is responsible for pollinating approximately $15 billion worth of crops annually in the US alone. As humans modify the natural landscape, understanding honey bees’ resource base and what makes their populations healthy is important economically and in terms of food security. If bees don’t thrive, neither do we. We are engaged in a research partnership with Fairfax County and Covanta that addresses those very questions and concerns. 24 hives have been established on a former landfill site and we are using the opportunity to research how honey bees are impacted by their local environment. In this case specifically, we are interested in how contaminants in the pollen resources they access might be introduced to, and accumulate in their hives. This work will help us learn whether honey bee hives are sufficiently provisioned throughout the seasons and what sort of plants they rely on. It will also inform the degree to which heavy metal contamination is in their foraging range. This knowledge will help inform action that ensures continued health for this important pollinator species.