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Green Bay Embracing Urban Beekeeping

April 24, 2020

We are starting to see more and more big cities embrace urban beekeeping to help out our favorite pollinator. Read more...

Honey Bees

If you live in Wisconsin and are afraid of bees, you may want to avoid downtown during the spring and summer months. The city of Green Bay has joined the growing movement to allow honey bees to call a downtown area home. On Broadway Inc. is the perpetrator behind the idea of colonizing the bees in Green Bay and it will be doing so on the rooftop of the renovated Rail Yard building on North Broadway.

The bees are being brought in to pollinate neighborhood flowers and downtown Green Bay decorations. Tawny Casey, On Broadway's organizer for this project, stated, "Pollinators are an important part of our ecosystem and are often not given the necessary conditions to thrive in an urban setting. This can affect other parts of the ecosystems, such as flowers and native plantings, from thriving as well."

On Broadway is also working in Milwaukee and Chicago with similar projects, but it is far from the only organization and/or project like this that we are seeing around the country.

Going back to 2016, a movement started with businesses adding hives to their rooftops. Some of the first businesses to buy into rooftop hives were in the hospitality industry. The Claremont Hotel in California made headlines back then by installing a “bee hotel” on its property. That particular project was done in partnership with Pollinator Partnership. The property is owned by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and they were more than happy to take up the cause.

Fairmont spokeswoman Kaitlynn Furse, at the time, stated, “Bees pollinate 80% of the food we eat and wild bees are three to four times more effective at pollinating plants compared to other bees. When the opportunity to install a bee hotel arose, the hotel was in the process of curating a pollinator garden in the back of their Kids’ Club. They saw this as an opportunity to drive the garden’s development and increase public awareness on the importance of developing and maintaining pollinator habitats.”

Since then, many hotels have incorporated hives not only into their properties but many are also using the honey created by the honey bees in their menus. They do this both in regular menu items as well as using the honey as a fresh ingredient in their cocktail menus. This “movement” is quickly changing, at least in a small way, how hotel food and beverage managers resource ingredients when creating a local flavor on their menus.

Sources: Fortune, Smithsonian Magazine, Berkeleyside NOSH, and WBAY.

Photo Courtesy of Ken Lund via Creative Commons License

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