THE XERCES SOCIETY
SAVING SWEET BEES WORLDWIDE
One of the largest beneficiaries of our 2016 Sweet Earth Project, The Xerces Society is a non-profit at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs for over 40 years. Madhava is proud to be one of the top five corporate donors to this sweet organization.
BRING BACK THE POLLINATORS
As a committed pollinator conservation partner, Madhava Natural Sweeteners helps ensure that bees, butterflies, and other pollinators have safe, healthy places to live. By supporting the Xerces Society’s partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), we are investing in the adoption of proven methods for protecting pollinators, across all landscapes. The NRCS helps to implement more than $4 billion of conservation work each year. The Xerces Society provides many forms of guidance on pollinator conservation to the NRCS.
Highlights of our contributions to this partnership since January 2016 include:
Supporting the NRCS Monarch Butterfly Conservation Initiative
To help the NRCS accomplish this goal, the Xerces Society:
◦ Helped develop lists of key nectar plants, so that conservation-minded farmers and ranchers can provide or protect good food sources for migrating monarch butterflies when they are installing additional monarch habitat on their farms.
◦ Assisted in the development in regional guides for evaluating habitat and for planning conservation projects.
◦ Advised on the development of state-level strategies for monarch conservation in Nebraska and Kansas, working with the NRCS and a wide variety of state partners.
Refining On-the-Ground Methods and Developing Related Educational Materials
So far this year, Xerces has focused on the following methods and publications:
◦ Working with the National Agroforestry Center, we finished a new publication called Working Trees for Pollinators, which provides guidance on how to incorporate trees and shrubs in agricultural settings, with specific benefits to pollinators.
◦ To guide the NRCS in their work with ranchers, we are developing guidelines on pollinator conservation for grazing lands in the Southern Great Plains. The guidelines will be released in the summer of 2016.
Training the Trainers
◦ More than 1,100 people attended presentations and webinars given by Xerces Society staff—including more than 250 members of the NRCS or conservation district staff.
◦ Sample topics included how to monitor bee populations, how to use conservation buffers to support beneficial insects on organic farms, and how to evaluate a site’s existing plants as monarch habitat.
UC SAN DIEGO DIVISION OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES
PARTNERSHIP FOR BEE HEALTH
Through its Partnership for Bee Health, UC San Diego Division of Biological Sciences is building research, enhancing student diversity, and providing science education. Since 2000, the program has provided research experiences for 289 students from the U.S. and Brazil. (Brazil is a particularly sweet spot for Madhava as it’s the source of all of our delicious Organic Honey.)
SUMMER BEE STUDY
Each summer, the Nieh Lab works with undergraduates from the United States and Brazil as well as Upward Bound programs to provide summer research opportunities for disadvantaged high school students. These students work with graduate students to study how field-realistic exposure to pesticides affects honeybee decisionmaking and how pesticides affect honeybee locomotion and orientation towards light. In addition, students also explore the possibilities of whether a larval vaccine developed by the Nieh lab can protect adult bees from one of the most common bee pathogens (Nosema ceranae) and if probiotics can protect adult bees from N. ceranae.
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA BEE LAB
We are thrilled to have the University of Minnesota Bee Lab as one of our Sweet Earth Project partners. The Bee Lab has made educating current and future beekeepers a top priority while promoting the health of bee pollinators. The Basil Furgala Student Support Fund was founded in honor of Dr. Basil Furgala (UMN Bee Lab Professor from 1967-1992) and used to support students who are specializing in honey bees (apiculture).
Many landscapes have transitioned from complex and diverse to just a few flower species with limited bloom periods making it more difficult for bees to find good sources of nutrition. We are working with a dedicated group of students that are trying to determine how honey bees interact with native prairies and, most importantly, whether planting native prairies can help colonies stay well-nourished and healthy year round.
THE GROWING GARDENS MISSION
Growing Gardens aims to enrich the lives of our community through sustainable urban agriculture. This Boulder-based non-profit organization, established in 1998, envisions people experiencing a direct and deep connection with plants, the land and each other.
Through its many gardening-based programs, Growing Gardens strives to reach gardeners and would-be gardeners of all ages to work alongside the organization and build community through urban agriculture.
In 2015, Growing Gardens partnered with over 180 schools, businesses, non-profits and community groups. 6,000 plant stars, 650 packages of seeds and 4,000 pounds of fresh produce were all donated to low-income families and community groups in Boulder, enabling them to cultivate life and grow their own food. Madhava also had the privilege of sponsoring a educational and fun beehive visit for over 4,000 elementary students in 2015.
The THRIVE Initiative
Thrive is a collaborative program conducted by Teakoe Tea, Urban Pollination Project & Madhava Natural Sweeteners. Our mission is to connect influential partners with urban and rural gardens to support and repopulate at-risk honeybees living in the local area. Our collective effort will make a positive & natural impact on the bee population, our food supply and local environment.