HISTORY

Tufts University & The Best Bees Company

In 2009, Noah Wilson-Rich was finishing up his Ph.D. dissertation at Tufts University, focusing on honey bee immunology. The global economy was in a major recession, and grant funding for research of all types remained elusive. Neither Noah nor his Ph.D. advisor had ever received a grant, despite countless applications. Instead, Noah founded The Best Bees Company as a means to raise funding for his research to improve bee health.

Tufts University & The Best Bees Company

In 2009, Noah Wilson-Rich was finishing up his Ph.D. dissertation at Tufts University, focusing on honey bee immunology. The global economy was in a major recession, and grant funding for research of all types remained elusive. Neither Noah nor his Ph.D. advisor had ever received a grant, despite countless applications. Instead, Noah founded The Best Bees Company as a means to raise funding for his research to improve bee health.

Beekeeping & Research

In 2014, Noah split the company into two parts, with beekeeping services remaining with The Best Bees Company, while research operations at a new nonprofit organization. The 501(c)3 status allowed for research fundraising through tax-deductible donations. This newly formed, Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary, Inc., continues to work closely with The Best Bees Company by analyzing all data collected at their clients’ beehives, testing bee samples for pests and pathogens, and publishing papers, book chapters, and books to communicate data and results to the general public.

Beekeeping & Research

In 2014, Noah split the company into two parts, with beekeeping services remaining with The Best Bees Company, while research operations at a new nonprofit organization. The 501(c)3 status allowed for research fundraising through tax-deductible donations. This newly formed, Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and Bee Sanctuary, Inc., continues to work closely with The Best Bees Company by analyzing all data collected at their clients’ beehives, testing bee samples for pests and pathogens, and publishing papers, book chapters, and books to communicate data and results to the general public.

Bee Sanctuary Program

In 2016, the Bee Sanctuary program was launched as the first major fundraising initiative. This program utilizes the network of local beekeepers within The Best Bees Company, across eight greater metro areas (Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), to establish honey bee hives throughout cities, where bees seem to be thriving best, according to our data (watch this TEDxBoston talk for more details).

Bee Sanctuary Program

In 2016, the Bee Sanctuary program was launched as the first major fundraising initiative. This program utilizes the network of local beekeepers within The Best Bees Company, across eight greater metro areas (Boston, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles), to establish honey bee hives throughout cities, where bees seem to be thriving best, according to our data (watch this TEDxBoston talk for more details).

Inspiration & Partnership

Bee Sanctuary as a program was inspired by beekeeper initiatives across the United States. The City of Largo, Florida and beekeeper Jim Johnson worked together to lease city-owned lands at low cost for beehives. Jim partnered with seed companies to convert these urban abandoned lands into thriving habitat for bees.

Concurrently, Denver Urban Gardens were partnering up with beekeeper Seneca Kristjonsdottir to launch a public-private partnership program to help bees thrive. The aptly named program, Thrive, created a sponsorship program for urban beehives. Thrive was created by a collaboration between Teakoe Tea and the Urban Pollination Project. Thrive’s garden partners planted seasonal forage for the bees, and committed to not use harmful chemicals in each garden. In return, Thrive provided a beehive and a beekeeper. Thrive also provided educational workshops for the sponsors, the community, and garden members. In 2016, Seneca and Thrive officially joined Bee Sanctuary, working together to launch this program nationally.

Inspiration & Partnership

Bee Sanctuary as a program was inspired by beekeeper initiatives across the United States. The City of Largo, Florida and beekeeper Jim Johnson worked together to lease city-owned lands at low cost for beehives. Jim partnered with seed companies to convert these urban abandoned lands into thriving habitat for bees.

Concurrently, Denver Urban Gardens were partnering up with beekeeper Seneca Kristjonsdottir to launch a public-private partnership program to help bees thrive. The aptly named program, Thrive, created a sponsorship program for urban beehives. Thrive was created by a collaboration between Teakoe Tea and the Urban Pollination Project. Thrive’s garden partners planted seasonal forage for the bees, and committed to not use harmful chemicals in each garden. In return, Thrive provided a beehive and a beekeeper. Thrive also provided educational workshops for the sponsors, the community, and garden members. In 2016, Seneca and Thrive officially joined Bee Sanctuary, working together to launch this program nationally.

Goals & Visions

Together, we are also working with new beekeepers, providing training programs, conducting ongoing research to improve bee health, and creating paying jobs for our next generation of beekeepers. Our goal is to foster creative solutions and economies within beekeeping in light of struggling bee populations.

 

Bee Sanctuary builds on our existing resources by bringing together a larger community of urban beekeepers. We engage community gardens, urban youth, local farms, and sponsorship donations. Specific Bee Sanctuary sites currently include the following locations:

 
  • – Public library rooftops and grounds in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles
  • – Urban garden sites in Denver
  • – City-owned vacant land parcels in Boston
  • – Schools in Boston and Los Angeles
  • – Send us your ideas for Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington DC!

Goals & Visions

Together, we are also working with new beekeepers, providing training programs, conducting ongoing research to improve bee health, and creating paying jobs for our next generation of beekeepers. Our goal is to foster creative solutions and economies within beekeeping in light of struggling bee populations.

 

Bee Sanctuary builds on our existing resources by bringing together a larger community of urban beekeepers. We engage community gardens, urban youth, local farms, and sponsorship donations. Specific Bee Sanctuary sites currently include the following locations:

 
  • – Public library rooftops and grounds in New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles
  • – Urban garden sites in Denver
  • – City-owned vacant land parcels in Boston
  • – Schools in Boston and Los Angeles
  • – Send us your ideas for Seattle, San Francisco, and Washington DC!