There’s a buzz in the air at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico’s (BCBSNM) headquarters. It’s the hum of more than 120,000 new honeybees.
BCBSNM’s Albuquerque office recently installed two hives on the north side of the building as part of its sustainability push. The hives each house nearly 60,000 docile honeybees and sit on land blessed by a tribal member of the Pueblo of Isleta.
A beekeeper from Alveole, a company that helps businesses, schools and other organizations bring bees to their buildings, will maintain the hives. They will be Alveole’s first in New Mexico.
“I’m really excited about this project,” says Amy Owen, an Alveole beekeeper caring for the BCBSNM hives. “I love the idea of corporate responsibility and BCBSNM acting as an example to other corporations of how their practices impact the environment.”
Bees have an outsized influence on the ecosystem. They spend their lives flying miles from home looking for food sources and, moving from flower to flower, they collect pollen on their legs and underbellies and spread it around the environment during their hunt for pollen and nectar.
That nectar is needed to produce everyone’s favorite bee product: honey. Each fall, beekeepers will harvest about 100 jars from the BCBSNM hives. The harvest will fluctuate depending on the health of the bees and local rainfall. The honey will be available for sale to employees.