Community Foundation Awards Honey Bee Grant

The Community Foundation for Northern Virginia made a grant of $25,000 to the George Mason University Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Honey Bee Initiative.

The goal of the grant is to accelerate work GMU innovators, educators, student teams and community partners to address the critical issues facing the honey bee.

The Community Foundation’s Innovation Fund, a discretionary fund that invests in inventiveness, creativity and new design across Northern Virginia, issued this grant thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor advised fund holder at the Community Foundation.

Lisa Gring-Pemble, an associate professor in the School of Business, is the director of Social Entrepreneurship and co-founder of the Honey Bee Initiative. “Our Honey Bee Initiative has tremendous momentum and these additional funds are crucial to our progress and program expansion,” she stated.

Because of colony collapse disorder, invasive mites, and pesticides, honey bees are dying at an alarming rate. In Virginia, hives have dropped by two-thirds since 1970. The Honey Bee Initiative plans to use the grant to support sustainable business models that will allow student teams to receive internships to continue their work; implement Smart-Hive Technology where student teams will work to transform how bee health is monitored; and curriculum development and educational apiaries that will incorporate social entrepreneurship into all aspects of GMU’s entrepreneurship curriculum and co-curricular offerings.

In 2016, the Community Foundation awarded more than $4.6 million in grants and scholarships and reported $37 million in managed philanthropic assets.

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