Bees and a hair salon. Who would have thought that that the two had anything in common? Well as it turns out, they have a lot in common, especially when you are an environmentally conscious SalonSpa. Our journey begins with a trip to AVEDA Congress in Minneapolis in October 2013. This is a biannual pilgrimage to what many of us refer to as the Motherland.
As many of our guests know, we have been an AVEDA partner since 1991. At this particular AVEDA Congress, AVEDA educated us about to the plight of bees. We learned that one out of every three bites of food we eat every day is due to honeybees and their pollination process. AVEDA products are produced using plants and flowers as the main ingredient, and we learned that many of those ingredients for the products owe their propagation to the bees. We also found out that large swaths of honeybees are disappearing at exponentially increasing rates. There are many theories for this which we will touch on in future blog posts.
AVEDA decided that as beneficiaries of these powerful pollinators, they had to do their part to save the honey bees. They approached the University of Minnesota to help them establish their own colonies at the manufacturing facilities in Blaine Minnesota. This story inspired our team to start looking for a way that SwizzleSticks could help back home in some way. Have a look at Aveda's story: Honey... They're Home
The next part of our journey started with the all encompassing search engine we call Google. We happened upon an organization called Apiaries and Bees for Communities (ABC). This organization was founded by an amazing and passionate beekeeper and educator named Eliese Watson.
We had a great conversation with her and found out that we can do more than just donate money to her organization, we can actually own beehives! We were elated that this was a possibility. We wanted to get started right away but were informed that the die-off of the bees the previous winter was so great that all of their reserves were going towards the repopulation of their current beehives. We took an interest in ABC’s education program, which provides tours to beehives around Calgary to help raise awareness of just how useful and non-threatening these bees are in our community. We found out that ABC was in desperate need of new beekeeper suits for their education program. We immediately decided to purchase 20 suits as well as two tour bikes to aid them in their Field Day educational trips.
As donors to this program it allowed us to have all of our team take a Field Day tour of several beehives and learn all about bee husbandry. What our team came away with was an excitement and passion for our new venture. The following year we became the proud parents of two beehives. And so the journey begins..