Nature Nate’s Honey Co. is dedicated to saving the dying honey bee population.
“We’re committed to serving the entire honey ecosystem, from beekeepers to global communities, beginning with the bees.”
In order to cultivate research and education on the matter, the McKinney company is donating funds to major universities across the U.S. such as the University of Texas at Dallas, Cornell University, Texas A&M University, and the University of Georgia. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.
“We’re committed to serving the entire honey ecosystem, from beekeepers to global communities, beginning with the bees,” said Nature Nate’s founder and CEO Nathan Sheets in a recent release.
The McKinney-based company has prospered since Sheets established the brand in 2012. Over the past six years, Nature Nate’s has developed into a multi-million dollar corporation. The company’s differentiator is its promise to provide 100 percent raw, unfiltered honey.
HONEY BEES CONTRIBUTE $14B TO U.S. AGRICULTURE INDUSTRY
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honey bees contribute more than $14 billion to the U.S. agriculture industry due to their roles as pollinators. However, experts predict this trend will decrease in years to come due to the dying honey bee population.
Based on a nationwide survey, it is estimated that between April 2015 and April 2016, U.S. beekeepers lost 44 percent of their honey bee colonies. The exact cause of the decline of the honey bee population is widely debated and is overall ruled unknown. Thus, large companies such as Nature Nate’s are striving to combat this widespread epidemic in order to save large sectors of the food industry.
Nature Nate’s believes that simply donating money is not enough to fully combat this issue, but rather investing time and money in education and research initiatives that will support American beekeepers and fuel a passion for bees within the younger generation. Therefore, in the company’s latest initiative, the funds allocated to the four respective universities will help develop research programs aimed at honey bee health.
FUNDS WILL HELP EXPAND UTD’S HONEY BEE PROGRAM
UTD has previously received funding from Nature Nate’s to grow its expanding honey bee program.
In 2011, UTD professor Scott Rippel noticed the massive amounts of honeybees accumulating in areas across the Richardson campus, according to the university. This observation led him to develop the university’s first Honey Bee Biology class.The announcement generated buzz throughout the community, causing Nature Nate’s to take notice. The company supported the endeavor, and early last year it helped the program by donating a micro-apiary bee reserve and beekeeper suits.
“It comes down to habitat. If you have the right habitat, build it and [the bees] will come,” Rippel said in a 2017 university release.
Now, the company will invest additional funds which will allow the university to expand its apiary program to more students across campus and the local community through increased outreach programs and events.
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