Life will be sweet for occupants of three city-centre properties thanks to their new fellow tenants.
Bee Green Ireland has joined forces with Dublin listed property firm Hibernia REIT to install six beehives on the rooftops at Cumberland Place, Dockland Central and Windmill Quarter properties — and what’s more, the existing (human) tenants will get to dip their spoons into their very own jars of honey from the hives twice a year.
And just like innumerable human leaseholders around the world, it would appear these bees engage in professional property management services, as Bee Green Ireland is a company that organises beehive rental and management.
As for their new neighbours, Twitter, Autodesk, Travelport Digital, HubSpot and Core Media already call these properties home. And those working there will get to enjoy the benefits of the urban hives.
Twice a year, the beehives will be harvested for honey and each hive is expected to yield up to 90 jars per harvest for distribution to tenants. Along with natural honey, the hives will produce wax which can be turned into body balm, lip balm and candles.
The feelgood factor goes beyond this, though, in an enterprise like this. One in three Irish bee species faces the threat of extinction, so providing a good environment for bees to thrive has never been more important.
Bees cope incredibly well in urban settings, where they are healthier thanks to a stronger immune system developed by a more varied diet and can be more productive, according to those behind the new project who note their winter survival rates in urban settings are also considerably higher.
The threat to Ireland’s bee population was outlined recently on World Bee Day, with leading academics and President Michael D Higgins highlighting the role pollinators play in our eco-system.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, animal pollinators, like bees, affect 35% of the world’s crop production and increase the output of 87 of the leading food crops globally.
The National Parks & Wildlife Service recently noted a 14% decline in bee species.
Patrick Casey of Bee Green Ireland said:
Dublin is a fantastic urban setting for our native Irish honey bees. At Cumberland Place the bees are within a couple of hundred metres of Merrion Square, Pearse Square Park and the Trinity College campus which will be prime foraging ground.
Bees are also known to travel around 3km from their hives when they get hungry, putting St Stephen’s Green, Fairview Park and parts of both canals on their menu-driven flight path.
“It’s great that a company like Hibernia REIT who occupy ideal locations have taken an initiative to give back to both the environment and their tenants,” added Patrick.
John Cairns from Hibernia REIT confirmed plans were in place to install more hives at properties around the city:
This is something we’ve been looking at doing for a while, and now we’ve seen the appetite from our tenants and the knowledge of Patrick from Bee Green Ireland, we’re going to add more hives to as many of our properties as we can.
He added: “Improving the country’s bee population is vital for the environment, and our tenants will get to enjoy incredible, natural products from just a few floors above them.”
Sinead Kenny from Twitter (tenants in 1 Cumberland Place) outlined how the initiative was being received by staff: “Twitter is really committed to sustainability in our business and the locations we work.
This type of initiative allows us to contribute to the environment in a meaningful way, but has a real tangible outcome. In a few months’ time our staff will literally get to taste the benefits of a thriving bee population.
Jars of joy
Lindsey O’Connell from HubSpot (tenants at Two Dockland Central) added: “We’re passionate about becoming a greener workplace, and this is a great way to help the environment. Not surprisingly, our EcoSpot employee-led resource group is particularly excited! We now eagerly await the chance to taste the first crop of honey from our new office friends.” The beehives are expected to supply their first jars of honey in September and other products will be made to order.