‘Bees for Peace’

New interfaith project promotes peace through bee-related activities.

All humanity has this in common: we rely on plants to provide us with nutrients. We also, by extension, rely on the creatures that help our plants flower. Bees play a vital role in pollinating our fruits and vegetables. In short, we all need bees.

This simple fact is what fueled Carrie Dohe to start Bees for Peace, a project that Dohe says “seeks to engage religious communities for the protection of the bees and other pollinators on which we depend.”

In an interview with CC, Dohe outlined the objectives of her non-profit organization. Bees for Peace offers workshops to build and fill native plant gardens – “blooming feeding sites” for bees – at houses of worship, community centres and in the yards of community members. It also promotes peace by connecting communities of faith with each other through a shared desire to care for creation. Bees for Peace encourages churches, mosques and synagogues to deepen their faith and strengthen their communities through practices that protect the Earth God gave us, and to promote reconciliation by restoring the ecosystems that have always fostered Indigenous cultures. Lastly, the organization gives newcomers literal roots in Canadian soil through interaction with its natural beauty and heritage.

Dohe is the director of Bees for Peace. She started the organization in Germany in 2018 and has since moved to Canada. She is now collaborating with Pollinator Partnership Canada and the University of Toronto School of the Environment to establish Bees for Peace in Canada. Bees for Peace is recognized as an Official Project of the UN Decade on Biodiversity.

Doing outreach at Our Lady of Lourdes in Toronto.
Explaining flowers and pollinators to children during a Bible Camp for Creation for St. Luke’s United Church in Toronto.

Reach out, don’t retreat

Bees for Peace encourages people from all faith communities to take action to protect our bees. Through education and restoring ecosystems, people can create environments where bees and other pollinators can thrive.

“I see this as part of the mandate given by all our faith directions,” Dohe says, “that we care for this planet and that this is a gift to us. What I’m trying to do with Bees for Peace is to get people to connect with their faith in a way they haven’t connected with it before – hopefully in a way that enriches their faith experience and gives them community on this planet that is their home.”

Through creating rooted experiences, Bees for Peace helps people connect with nature and people in their communities. Faith communities have suffered over the past few years, and Bees for Peace aims to bring people together in creative ways – to talk about faith and ecology and to expand our definition of community to include biology.

Building bee boxes.

“We live in scary times,” Dohe says, “and a lot of people shut down and retreat. What I want is for people to reach out to each other instead. Reach out to their church members, to the mosque next door, to the synagogue down the street and to the rest of life. Reach out to the flowers, trees and bushes. We need to fight this tendency to shut down.”

“Through applied projects,” Dohe wrote in the Journal of the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, “Bees for Peace seeks to […] imagine bees as peace ambassadors that unite disparate religious communities.” That goal was realized in Cologne, Germany, when Buddhist, Jewish, atheist, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant and Baha’i Bees for Peace members came together to accept the UN Biodiversity Award. The organization has already connected with 11 religious communities in Canada.


  • Kristen Parker

    Kristen is a freelance writer for Christian Courier. She recently married her husband, Chris. She has a passion for words and house plants.

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