Sister Honeybee Conservancy

The Honeybee Conservancy at Rodale Institute was started in 2012 in response to the major health problems that have decimated 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. We believe that individual honeybee stewards are one of the solutions to this problem.

The Sister Honeybee Conservancy was developed to promote natural and sustainable beekeeping practices through education and outreach.

To join as a “sister conservancy” your apiary must meet the following requirements:

  • Never smoke honeybees or feed sugar water
  • Have clean, chloride-free and fluoride-free water on each colony 365 days of the year
  • Never use chemicals nor antibiotics in, around or near a colony
  • Never artificially feed honeybees
  • Plant annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that are honeybee-friendly plants by providing nectar, pollen and/or resin
  • Leave more than 100 pounds of honey in each hive for honeybees to feed on during the winter
  • Locate your apiaries and hives in sunny locations, with the entrance oriented towards the southeast
  • Rotate more than 30% of the comb out of hive each year to minimize environmental residue build-up in wax
  • Dust, spray, and water with propolis as needed, to reduce hive pathogens, pests, and other problems that the colony may encounter
  • Manage the honeybees when it is best for honeybees
  • Educate and inform hive stewards of all-natural methods and practices

Are you eligible to be a sister conservancy?

Benefits include:

  • A plaque to display in your apiary and an electronic logo to display on your website
  • Link to your apiary from

For a list of classes on Rodale Institute approved bee-keeping practices, please visit our calendar of events and
To schedule classes with Meme Thomas in your area, please contact her directly at

The annual fees are $40 for individuals, $150 for a Society or Association. When you sign up and pay your annual fee, you pledge to follow and abide by all the requirements.


Donation Information
$ 40.00
$ 150.00
Additional Information

611 Siegfriedale Road
Kutztown, PA  19530-9320 USA
(610) 683-1400
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Our Mission:

Through organic leadership we improve the health and well-being of people and the planet.