The sweet gift of honey bees

December 3, 2008 | By | Comments (1)


Every year my husband and I get together with about 12 of our nearest and dearest to celebrate the holidays and eat a whole lot of old-school Italian food. For a long time we handed out gag gifts and other trinkets to one another—a Velveeta t-shirt here, a doggie chew toy in the shape of a politician there.

But then we got to thinking.  What if we pooled our money, avoided the trinkets, and collectively gave to something worthwhile? We might actually be able to do a tiny bit of good in the world.

So last year we gave the gift of honey bees!  Together we collected about $250, which buys 6 beautiful, buzzing hives through Heifer International, a non-profit dedicated to helping struggling families lift themselves out of poverty.

Bees help individuals in developing countries (ours went to Tanzania) by pollinating crops, and providing a steady stream of honey, wax, and pollen for food and income.

Better than another cheesy t-shirt any day.

Hey chicken fans: Heifer provides lots of different livestock and other productive animals including flocks of chicks for just $20

Please tell us your best charitable giving ideas for the season.

By Samantha Schoech, Sunset senior editor


  1. Erika

    I love both giving and receiving Heifer International gifts. I also recommend Rent Mother Nature, where you can support California date farmers, Arizona pistachio growers, Washington oyster harvesters, and a whole bunch of New England, Minnesota, Florida, and Georgia ag producers by giving a “lease” redeemable for their products. I loved getting three wheels of brie from a Vermont cow along with a picture of the happy heifer that produced them. Check out all the yummy options:

    December 3, 2008 at 8:30 pm

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