Bees may be small but they play a big role in our ecosystem. While bees are renowned for their role in providing high-quality food and products used in healthcare, their greatest contribution is the pollination of nearly three-quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the world’s food.
In 2017, the United Nations declared May 20 as World Bee Day to draw global attention to the importance of preserving bees and other pollinators and to take concrete action to preserve and protect them. Now in its fifth year of observance, individuals and organizations worldwide are taking action to help bees, including people like urban beekeeper Jerry Alberte and companies like Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK).
Making use of the green roof atop Rockwell’s headquarters in Milwaukee, Alberte, owner of Dragonfly Farms, partners with Rockwell to help the local bee population thrive.
At the time it was created in 2010, Rockwell’s 48,000-square-foot green roof was the largest single-level green roof in the Wisconsin. Capturing more than a million gallons of stormwater per year, the green roof is home to more than dozen varieties of sedum and native perennials – and now, a small colony of honey bees.
Alberte recently installed two hives atop Rockwell’s green roof during the height of pollination season and will be ready to harvest honey in July and August. During that time, the bee population within the two hives is expected to grow from 10,000 to 80,000. As part of an urban farm culture, the honey is extracted from colonies located in backyards throughout the metro Milwaukee area. The honey from Rockwell’s green roof, located in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, will have a unique taste and color and be sold at local food markets.
Want to help save the bees? Here are 10 ideas. To learn more about the buzz around Rockwell’s environmental efforts, read the Sustainability Report.