Bee Girl Organization

Location: Ashland, Oregon

Date Founded: 2010

Contact Name: Sarah Red-Laird



9dc Give Amount: $765

May 25, 2022

Here is a profoundly impactful statement that we want to share: One out of every three bites of food you put in your mouth was because of the role that honeybees play in the food chain! The fruits, vegetables and many of the seeds that are used for beef and dairy feed were enabled because of pollinators like bees.

A disturbing trend since the mid 1980s has been the decline in bee populations, which are attributed to habitat loss, pests, disease, extreme weather and pesticides, primarily as a result of agriculture farming practices. The 9dollarclub wanted to understand while learning more if there was a way we could help.  

We were fortunate to find Sarah Red-Laird, the Founder and Executive Director of Bee Girl Organization ("BGO"). The BGO is a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate and inspire communities to conserve bees, their flowers, and our countryside. BGO projects are focused on bee habitat research and education, and kids’ programs. Sarah worked with bees as a research assistant at the University of Montana, Missoula in the late 2000’s. She emerged from academia to and launch a nonprofit in 2010 with a goal and created solutions to the current crises of honey bee colony losses and native bee losses where their populations continue to experience dwindling populations and loss of habitat.

As we learned about the importance of bees (and came to know there are over 4,000 different types of bees in North America!) and how they impact us, we were reminded about how important flowers can be to the process. The nectar and pollen of flowers is the source of food for bees and their colonies and how their bodies aid in cross-pollination, Worker bees land on flowers and drink their nectar which is brought back and shared with bee colonies to feed and sustain the colonies. In the process of doing this, the little hairs of bees all over their body attract pollen and help move the pollen from plant to plant. When a bee lands on the next plant or flower, the pollen is distributed which results in cross-pollination. This is the process that later yields fruits, vegetables, and seeds. 

As bees continue to lose natural habitat of flowers, there is stress put on the food bees needs for their bee colonies and reduced ability for pollination to occur which is needed for fruits, vegetables and seeds. 

What Is the 9dollarclub doing to help?

Sarah explained the variety of initiatives she has going on that ranged from the creation of STEAM focused educational books for teachers to her lengthy research projects including regenerative bee pasture. All of them are fascinating and keep Sarah extremely busy! 

As May is the month many of us begin to associate as the month of flowers, we thought the timing was great with the discussion of the importance of flowers and bees. 

The low maintenance and inexpensive flower-rich "Regenerative Bee Pasture" that can be integrated into an established, or degraded pasture for an environmentally and economically improved area for bees and large (cows, sheep) livestock to graze was very attractive to us as a simple yet impactful way that the 9dollarclub could help. By increasing the amount of flower-based pastures, we are increasing the ability of bees to sustain the food energy needed for their colonies while ensuring the continuation of pollination from flowers which in turns yields more seeds for crops and food sustainability.  

For the month of May, a donation of $765 was made to purchase a flower seed mix as part of the "Regenerative Bee Pasture" project. Our funds are specifically going toward the purchase of 19 acres of seed for a pasture project located on a ranch near Bonanza, Oregon. The flower seed mix (which weighs approximately 250 pounds) will help to maintain bee habit to ensure sustainability of honey bee colonies, native bees and their important part in our food supply. 

We hope you'll enjoy the video below from Sarah as education around the entire process. You can feel her energy and passion and its what we were attracted to for this months 9dollarclub give!  She also has a list of other ways that you can help our bees

"9dollarclub" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Virginia, United States