The American Honey Bee Protection Agency:
The mission to save honey bees from extinction–CEO Walter Schumacher’s professed goal–originated from a conversation in 2006. Walter, also known fondly as the “Bee-Czar”, was intrigued when a friend of his explained that the key to saving the world was to save the honey bee. From that point on, Walter took every step towards figuring out how to save bees from unwanted places, such as homes, offices and bees that might be swarming at the circuit of the Americas (true story).
An Eco-Friendly Solution to Bee Infestation
Walter formed Central Texas Bee Rescue later in 2006 and opened his doors to customers seeking an eco-friendly solution to their honey bee infestation or swarm issues. Since Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) had not been diagnosed by that time, there were still many people baffled at why someone, such as Walter, would get in a bee suit in 110 index heat during the summer just to save some pesky bees. Yet, through working with them, and beginning to understand the depth of their beauty, their intelligence, and their keystone role in our ecosystem, Walter developed an unbreakable bond with the honey bee. He even realized that the bee suits in the dead heat would kill him before bees did, so he eventually just stop wearing one altogether! (Please note we do not advise that!).
The Move to Non-Profit Work
After attempts to work with the city of Austin hit a wall, Walter received some information that would help direct his company’s direction. Walter was told that in order to work with the city more often, it was advisable that he turn his enterprise into a nonprofit. So in February of 2012, Walter created the American Honey Bee Protection Agency (AHBPA) and was thusly awarded an IRS tax exempt designation.
Bee Removals All Over the State
Since then, AHBPA has made in-roads in many different aspects. First and foremost, AHBPA’s mission to save the bees still takes place on a daily basis. Although, it is now not just confined to Austin. AHBPA performs removals all over the state of Texas, and has Co-Op apiaries from DFW down south of San Antonio and everywhere in between.
School Programs & Education
Moreover, AHBPA has school programs where its education director, Donna Hoffman, teaches students ranging in age from six to fourteen years of age how to care for bees and how to perform hive inspections.
Passing Important Legislation
Lastly, AHBPA worked diligently during the 2015 legislative session to help pass the statewide resolution making the western honey bee the state pollinator of Texas, an overdue honor, which AHBPA hopes will bring more awareness to the importance of bees in the state. Similarly, in a 2011 ordinance passed by the city of Austin, at the prodding of Walter, was to chance city language that made killing honey bees a secondary option, and the rescue and removal a primary option.
Expanding to Serve More People (and Bees!)
AHBPA is aiming to perform its noble, and vital, work in other states in 2016-2017. Please help further our cause by clicking the donate button so we can save more bees!
Mission STATEMENT: American Honey Bee Protection Agency educates Texas communities on the role of bees in the ecosystem. We rescue and place bees, fight the use of pesticides and the causes of colony collapse disorder, and support ecosystem health.
ORDINANCE NO. 20120322-019
The American Honey Bee Protection Agency was instrumental, working alongside Texas lawmakers, in passing an ordinance to provide for the relocation of wild or abandoned bees that do not threaten human or animal health or interfere with the normal use or enjoyment of public or private property.