Bees for Peace promotes the care of bees, butterflies and other pollinating creatures through establishing blooming feeding sites on the grounds of houses of worship and elsewhere. These feeding sites form a “peace network,” as bees, imagined as messengers of peace, visit the various feeding sites, thereby uniting disparate communities of faith through this cross-pollination. Given that over 50% of Canadians and 80% of the world’s population are affiliated with a religion, faith communities harbor immense potential for protecting our pollinators.
Begun in Cologne, Germany, in 2018, Bees for Peace was awarded recognition in 2020 as an Official Project of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. Since April 2021, Bees for Peace has been putting down roots in Canadian soil.
Through workshops and other activities, Bees for Peace draws out the deeply spiritual aspects of caring for bees, butterflies, and other creatures that centrally support the web of life. This project approaches religious communities through their traditions on peace and charity, extending these values to the biocommunity. Bees for Peace also draws on religious holidays and rituals around food to thematize food security. By partnering with people of faith to reinterpret their traditional language, symbols, stories, and teachings in new, ecologically sound ways, Bees for Peace engages new actors for pollinator protection. In addition, the project fosters societal peace through interfaith cooperation, focusing religious communities on preserving the common ground we all share, socially and ecologically.
Bees for Peace seeks ways to combine pollinator protection with fulfilling communities’ other needs. These include strengthening parent-child bonds through building raised beds and bee hotels; promoting community by putting in pollinator and vegetable gardens on the grounds of houses of worship; and reducing prejudice against people of faith by showcasing their involvement with Bees for Peace. Have an idea? Want to join the peace network? Drop us a line!
Carrie B. Dohe (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2012) brought Bees for Peace to Canada as part of a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto. She now works in collaboration with P2C's local efforts and networks to bring together leaders in the faith community to support bees and other pollinators. Before relocating to Toronto, Carrie was a project research associate at the University of Marburg. With funding from the German Research Foundation, Carrie investigated how faith-based environmentalism and climate protection are transforming religious teachings and practices. She is especially interested in furthering interreligious cooperation for nature conservation, assisting conservationists develop more effective communication with non-experts, and supporting faith communities’ efforts to become more sustainable.