Honey bee (Photo from Bees Matter)Honey bee (Photo from Bees Matter)

Copernicus Educational Products is really buzzing about the environment this spring.

For the fourth year, the socially responsible corporation will be helping pollinators by caring for a hive of honey bees.

Pollinators, including bees, play an important role in our ecosystems, food production and even our gardens. Sadly, bee populations are declining for many reasons, including climate change, pesticides and loss of habitat.

At the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) in Ontario, yearly butterfly counts are held at Carden Alvar and Rice Lake Plains to learn more about these pollinators, including the viability of their populations, where they live and if our land management processes are helping various species.

This year, Copernicus will once again manage their own bee hive for domestic honey bees. Louanna Nauss with Copernicus’ QA department and head bee keeper says that the hive has been beneficial, not only to the environment but also to staff.

“I think it’s been good for staff to share an interest in our bees, to learn how important they are and their value to our food chain. I also think it’s a good idea to show that bees are not as harmful as you would think. They’re actually pretty mellow and don’t have any real interest in hurting you. I think the more you learn, the less likely you are to be afraid. Bees are an incredible species!” says Louanna.

Keeping an eye on the health and viability of domestic honey bees in an artificial hive can help us know faster when our native, wild bees are in trouble and may need our help. They are also super important to our agricultural sector. Without bees we would be in real trouble!

But the fuzzy yellow and black insects are not the only Bs that Copernicus staff are getting excited about this spring. The educational products manufacturer recently became a Certified B Corporation®. One of the highest certifications that a corporation can achieve, B Corps are for-profit companies, certified by the non-profit B Lab®, that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

“It’s the most comprehensive certification that we found we could be a part of,” says Julia Scullion, social and environmental responsibility coordinator. “It was a challenge for us but it’s something we wanted to work towards.”

According to Julia, it was really Copernicus’ co-founder, Jim Phillips who spearheaded the push to become certified.

“We wanted to become a B Corp because we truly believe that businesses have a responsibility to do more good in the world,” says Jim. “The B Corp assessment gave us the opportunity to prove to ourselves that we could formally achieve a recognized level of social and environmental responsibility and to help encourage other businesses to do the same.”

Copernicus Educational Products has been supporting NCC’s efforts in Ontario since 2010. For the past two years, the corporation has partnered with us on Giving Tuesday, where they have encouraged individuals and corporations to donate by doubling every donation we received.

For over 20 years, Copernicus Educational Products Inc. has been manufacturing educational equipment for schools, libraries and daycares. Since 2009, the company has also supplied schools in southwestern Ontario with over 151,000 free trees and 5,000 wildflower packs.