Media Relations Specialist
610-683-1427 (farm office)
April 29, 2015 (Kutztown, PA) Rodale Institute, a non-profit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, announced a new campaign in partnership with Wedderspoon Organic naming the month of July as National Organic Honey Month. The ‘July is National Organic Honey Month’ campaign will make use of social media to spread awareness around issues affecting the honeybees. Both groups will use the hashtag #beeaware to track the conversation and will host a kick-off event on June 21st as part of the Institute’s ‘Kick Off the BBQ Season’ event at their Kutztown, PA research farm.
The campaign will celebrate honeybees and their contribution to the food system as pollinators. It will also raise awareness around the decline in honeybee populations and the threats they face in the form of toxic agricultural chemicals.
Conversely, National Honey Month is held in September and promotes beekeepers, the beekeeping industry and honey as a sweetening product. The USDA-overseen National Honey Board selected September as Honey Month back in 1989 because September is the month when honey collection ends for most conventional beekeepers.
“If you are a beekeeper and you are going to take honey, you should finish by the end of July so that the bees have enough honey to survive the winter. Continuing to harvest honey until September does not give them enough time to build necessary stores for the winter,” said Rodale Institute executive director, ‘Coach’ Mark Smallwood.
Rodale Institute’s 333-acre research farm is home to the Honeybee Conservancy, started in 2012 in response to major health problems decimating the honeybee population in North America. Colony collapse disorder (CCD) still results in a 30% death rate every winter for these valuable pollinators with no answer in sight. Rodale Institute posits that individual honeybee stewards are one of the solutions to this problem.
The Honeybee Conservancy promotes healthy beekeeping practices through education and outreach and includes classes in sustainable beekeeping practices, hive hosting on Rodale Institute’s organic farm and support for beginners through the network.
Since its founding in 1947 by J.I. Rodale, the Rodale Institute has been committed to groundbreaking research in organic agriculture, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating people about how organic is the safest, healthiest option for people and the planet. The Institute is home to the Farming Systems Trial (FST), America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of chemical and organic agriculture. Consistent results from the study have shown that organic yields match or surpass those of conventional farming. In years of drought, organic corn yields are about 30% higher. This year, 2014, marks the 34th year of the trial. New areas of study at the Rodale Institute include rates of carbon sequestration in chemical versus organic plots, new techniques for weed suppression and organic livestock.
ABOUT RODALE INSTITUTE
Rodale Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach. For more than sixty years, we’ve been researching the best practices of organic agriculture and sharing our findings with farmers and scientists throughout the world, advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest options for people and the planet.
ABOUT WEDDERSPOON ORGANIC
Wedderspoon® Organic is committed to providing our customers with top quality, premium, and organically certified Manuka honey and honey products from around the world. Wedderspoon® was created 8 years ago with the unique mindset of providing genuine, pure Manuka honey with a high pollen count and has been the top selling leader in the industry since.
A young, innovative company, Wedderspoon® bases its principles on ethical and sustainable honey production, the support of bee conservation and the goal of reducing our negative impact on the environment.