Schulich student launches non-profit to help declining bee population

A fourth-year bachelor of business administration student in York’s Schulich School of Business has created a non-profit organization to help save the declining bee population.

Ilan Kogan recently launched Feed the Bees (feedthebees.ca), which provides bee-friendly seeds to anyone who registers.

Bees are facing a constellation of environmental stressors. The effects of monoculture farming, the paving over of fields and the widespread use of pesticides are contributing to the dramatic decline of bee populations.

“In the last decade, 40 per cent of honeybee colonies in the U.S. have died,” he said. “Bees are responsible for pollinating one-third of the food humans eat.”

Acknowledging that bees need more and better foraging options for colonies to survive, Kogan decided to offer the public an opportunity to help through Feed the Bees.

“Anyone can go to feedthebees.ca, register and receive free bee-friendly seeds,” said Kogan. “We ship the seeds out for them to plant. The idea is the seeds are pesticide-free and highly attractive to bees. They help revitalize the bee population.”

Kogan reported that Canadians are very receptive to the cause, and only three weeks after launching the website he received requests for 50 million seeds.

People can also submit donations to Feed the Bees to help cover the cost of sourcing the seeds and to fund bee-related scientific research.

Kogan credits his time at Schulich for giving him the confidence and the tools to tackle broad problems like this.

“One of the great things about Schulich’s management education is that you don’t just have to look at corporate problems. You gain the ability to see problems and come up with solutions,” he said.

Before Feed the Bees, Kogan had created five startups across a diverse range of sectors.

For more York University news, photos and videos, visit the YFile homepage