For The Love of Bees is a charitable trust that really love bees, obviously, but for very good reason. Bees are a vital part of their work, creating a system of self-sustaining urban farms that cultivate quality food for local people through regenerative horticultural practices. Through these sites FTLOB create happier, healthier eco-systems and resilient, connected communities.
Another organisation that really loves bees is local company Comvita which is a global market leader in Mānuka honey. Founded in 1974, with a purpose “to heal and protect the world through the natural power of the hive,” Comvita now has a team of 500+ people globally, united with more than 1.6 billion bees.
It makes perfect sense then that Comvita has recently announced a major partnership with For The Love of Bees (FTLOB), which will see the two organisations working together to protect these vital pollinators and the natural ecosystems they live in.
Under the new partnership, the first tranche of activity will include the establishment of Comvita-led beekeeping operations across three existing FTLOB sites in Auckland, and ongoing collaboration with local beekeepers to ensure bee health in those communities.
Comvita has also dedicated extensive funding to support the expansion of FTLOB’s operations throughout New Zealand, especially in Auckland and Paengaroa, where Comvita’s main site is located.
Group CEO of Comvita, David Banfield, says “We’re aiming to create a movement that enables bees and people to thrive in harmony. This new partnership with For The Love of Bees is an important step in bringing that movement to life, by working with like-minded communities of bee advocates – supporting them in their efforts to produce tangible, on the ground results.
“With New Zealand Aotearoa’s bee populations under threat as a result of factors such as habitat loss, pesticides, and disease, it’s our role as global leaders in the Mānuka honey sector to do all we can to protect our friends, the bees, and support our pollinators in keeping the planet healthy and flourishing,” adds Banfield.
FTLOB’s Vision Holder and Trustee, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, describes the partnership as especially timely given the difficult circumstances COVID-19 had created for organisations like FTLOB.
“The support from Comvita comes at the perfect time and will help us to support our community of urban farmers and scale out across the country. Our Biology-First farming concepts are proven, and our Earthworkers Programme is creating a network of changemakers across New Zealand. Comvita shares our goals of creating a world of difference focused on restoring the environment, while advocating for bee welfare and climate change first and foremost,” concludes Smuts-Kennedy.
FTLOB has already garnered significant attention for their work in the sustainability space. Smuts-Kennedy received a Sustainable Superstar Award commendation at the New Zealand Sustainable Business Awards 2020.