Happy Earth Day! Spring is finally here in Massachusetts, and with it comes beautiful spring flowers- crocus, hyacinth, cherry blossoms, dandelions, and more. These early bloomers are more than just a cheerful sight as we all come out of hibernation; they serve as an early food source for our friends the bees! Bees make the world go 'round; they are responsible for pollinating the majority of our food production, and yet every year, we lose more and more bees due to things like deforestation, pesticide use, and climate change. Given the theme of this year's Earth Day is Restore the Earth, I took to the streets of Boston to better understand how an urban, industrialized area like One Brigham Circle is giving back to the Earth with the help of bees.
One Brigham Circle is a complex made up of corporate and retail space, as well as several acres of green park space. The design was crafted through thoughtful consideration of the community and environmental impact. Over the years, One Brigham has worked to improve energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. Towards the end of 2019, One Brigham made the decision to add a beehive in the Kevin W. Fitzgerald park to improve their sustainability efforts and enlisted the help of Best Bees to install a beehive in Spring of 2020.
Best Bees was founded in 2010 and works with corporations and private residents to install and maintain beehives, while collecting data on pollinator health. Installing professionally maintained beehives is a win-win; data is collected to help the future survival of bees, and adding beehives also encourages more pollination and diversity of plant life. This is especially important for urban areas like Boston. Community gardens are popping up all over the place, and without bees, the gardens won't thrive. Over the last year, One Brigham has been extremely happy with the Best Bees program and has received positive feedback from members of the community. They even received several pounds of honey at the end of the season which they gifted back to local residents.
When I inquired about the process - does it require special permits, insurance, or a long lead time, I was happy to hear that no special permitting was needed from the city or state, and there was no increase in insurance to One Brigham with the addition of the bees. Best Bees completes an assessment to determine the best location for a hive, and the whole hive can be installed in one day. Best Bees makes installation and maintenance very user-friendly for property staff and residents. Once the bees are delivered in April or May, Best Bees performs monthly maintenance visits to assess the health of the hive and collect data.
It's no secret that companies are looking for new ways to go green. It's better for the planet, better for consumers, and has a positive return on investment as well. It's easy to install parks, sidewalks, and gardens when planning out new developments, but what about existing cityscapes? Adding beehives requires very little space, making it an easy and economical option for property managers. By partnering with Best Bees, One Brigham is able to provide a safe and secure environment for the hive, have a positive impact on other Boston green space, and help provide much needed data for the future health of the bee population.
Curious about beekeeping but don't know where to start? Best Bees manages both commercial and residential beehives for you, making it a safe and easy set up. Together, you can make a plan that's right for your space and help do your part to save the bees! Also be sure to incorporate some native pollinators this season to support our tiny friends! You never know where a local hive might be.
P.S. Remember to shop local and small ~ Bee Cookies by La Messy Baker from the Greater Boston Area were handed out by One Brigham Circle today for Earth Day to spread the word about the importance of bees.