July 10, 2015
American Entrepreneur Works toward Honeybee Conservation
What many people do not know, but scientists will tell us, is that pollinators like butterflies, birds, insects, and bees are an important part of sustaining our nation’s food supply. In North America, honeybees are solely responsible for pollinating at least 90 percent of the commercial crops being produced, sold, and served on your evening dinner plates. "Most people don't realize that without bees, many plants and food crops would die off," said Guillaume Gauthereau.
American entrepreneur Gauthereau is planning to build a one-of-a-kind sanctuary for honey bees in upstate New York with hopes that it will help to stabilize the bee population. Honeybee colonies have been depleting greatly over the last few decades and are often plagued by disease, parasites, loss of habitat, and other factors that keep their numbers on the decline. "We [have] felt the need to take action to prevent these beautiful, vital species from suffering and disappearing," he said.
In an article posted on Money.CNN.com, Gauthereau explains that, 12 months from now, he hopes to unveil and open his 50 to 100 acre honeybee sanctuary located in the Catskills of New York. The sanctuary will provide a safe place for a variety of different bee species to thrive and will include an abundance of pollinator-friendly flowers, trees, bushes and plants for the bees to collect pollen and other substances to create their food source and grow their colonies.
Gauthereau is also working on having 50 to 100 specially constructed beehives placed in the sanctuary which he hopes will house a few million different species of bees that will be strategically placed throughout the property. However, Gauthereau does not want to leave the project as just a honeybee sanctuary – he also has plans to do much more. "We want to establish a research center there," he said. "We also want to open it to students and the public to study bees and really not be afraid of them.
Gauthereau is using his entrepreneurial skills to fund the project – in 2008, he co-founded business incubator Sequoia Lab; in 2009, he launched Totsy.com, a children’s products deal website. Both of these ventures led Gauthereau to launching New York Bee Sanctuary in 2014. This initiative, which has been self-funded to this point, began from a longtime interest in nature, sustainable foods and farming.
Currently, Gauthereau is working to raise the funds needed in order to purchase the land required to open the sanctuary.