SMALL SAVE, BIG REWARD
Bee Heroic Initiative educates to save pollinators from extinction.
Written by Natasha Bourlin
Photo by Shaun Hunter
Stinging you isn’t even on their to-do list. They’d rather you just go away and leave them to their critical work.
Bees can be intimidating to many people, despite their size, but that tiny body is seriously influential when it comes to the ecosystem.
In an attempt to build an army of advocates for these insects and their winged, pollinating cohorts, Lake Tahoe resident Nikki Florio founded the nonprofit Bee Heroic, whose website describes the organization as an “information-to-action platform for initiating practices that will save Earth’s bees, and all our extraordinary pollinators, from near-term extinction.”
Since 2015, when she founded Bee Heroic, Florio has packed a one-woman wallop in terms of creating awareness about bees’ importance. She feels passion instigates change.
After years of working with and learning about the vital role of pollinators in the world, how many are endangered today, and why, from a multitude of doctors, biologists, climatologists, and United States Department of Agriculture inspectors, she created the Pollen Nation Tour and is taking it on tour across the country.
To combat the impact that geoengineering and rapidly evolving technology are having on the planet’s honey bee population, Florio envisioned and is carrying out a mobile awareness project. She received a donation of a large pickup with a covered bed, which she filled with an interactive booth, bee-protection information, and giveaways.
Florio has scheduled presentations or appearances at dozens of outdoor events such as concerts and hemp, beer, and earth expos in more than half a dozen states from Oregon to Hawaii. At the booth, she and a small group of as-needed volunteers invite people to their “learn and earn” project — having visitors read informational posters for prizes, including organic lip balms and Bee Heroic tchotchkes.
When presenting, Florio is at times joined by her trusted group of scientists and environmental experts to help attendees better understand how “the big, bad Gs” (as she calls geoengineering, 5G, and GMOs) adversely affect the bee population.
When Bee Heroic appears at other smaller events, such as those held at eco-friendly businesses and organic cafés, Florio plays educational games with the guests, then gives the business owners a chance to explain why pollinators are important to them.
She insists that if people would simply switch their purchasing habits, many bees could be saved. Buying organic is the single most important tactic she believes the public can undertake.
“We’re doing ourselves a favor, not just the pollinators,” Florio says. “You can’t save the pollinators if you don’t save nature. If we do not practice conscious consumerism, we won’t save anything because that’s where we have the most impact.”
She seeks private funding for her mission; she’s hit brick walls when applying for federal and state grants, she says. Her upcoming spring Pollen Nation Tour needs financial help, and she’s open to discussing how interested parties can participate.
Ultimately, if someone appreciates Florio’s heartfelt mission to save the pollinators and hands her $10 to help the cause, she’s likely to instruct that person to use it to buy an organic product instead, which might otherwise be considered too pricey to buy.
Investing in pollinators oneself is the easiest solution, she says. Bees and other pollinators are the reason people have the produce and other grown food they need.
“They’re part of our direct connection to the earth,” Florio says. “For our brain function and bodily success, we simply owe [pollinators] our lives.”
Freelance writer Natasha Bourlin has been a big fan of honey and a bit afraid of bees, but now will help them any chance she gets. See more of her work at Passportandplume.com.
For details about Bee Heroic and upcoming events, visit Beeheroic.com.