We cannot live without bees. However, according to Greenpeace, bee populations have been declining globally with many species disappearing forever due to the use of pesticides and fertilizers, biodiversity loss and habitat destruction. Today, we’re pleased to share the story of three sites in France that are playing host to bee communities and learning more about the importance of bees and biodiversity.
The Genlis Site Is Supporting Biodiversity
Each year since 2013, our Architectural Coatings (AC) site in Genlis partners with ID Logistics (a third-party logistics firm that operates the warehouse for the distribution of AC’s products) to work on a joint sustainable development project. In 2020, they selected a Bourgogne Franche-Comté-based company to install two hives at the warehouse site.
We really appreciate the ecological approach of beekeeper. Their goal it is to make companies more aware of biodiversity and the importance of protecting bees.
Sandrine Pleynet, logistics manager at Genlis
Their project contributes to the protection of the black bee, a species that is naturally present in the region and is threatened by the massive introduction of hybrid bees.
2020 – A Good Year for Bees
Benefiting from a favorable climate in 2020 (fewer fumes from cars makes it easier for bees to forage as floral scents are stronger and last longer), the bees at Genlis adapted well to their new environment and worked hard. A very healthy 50 kg of honey has already been harvested and distributed to PPG and ID Logistics (IDL) staff.
A professional beekeeper regularly visits the hives and gives us news of our bees!
Sandrine in front of the bee hives in Genlis
An apiculture workshop was held in September last year and Sandrine hopes it will become an annual event to allow the staff at PPG and IDL to learn more about the life of bees.
Our colleagues loved the workshop. The goal is to learn about the functioning of the hive and to observe how all the jobs of the bee community are organized.
Sandrine thinks the beekeeping workshops are a good tool to raise awareness among colleagues and strengthen cohesion within teams. The next workshop is scheduled for July, and attendants may even get the opportunity of collecting honey themselves!
What an enriching experience! We hope to organize this workshop once a year to involve as many people as possible.
The Saultain Site Is Fascinated by the Bee World
Travelling up north, HR management at our site in Saultain had the idea of welcoming three beehive communities to its grounds back in 2017. Since then, a professional beekeeper looks after the hives and is always happy to keep the company informed. Each year, the site organizes activities around the bees during its Wellness Week, such as honey tasting and harvesting, and sells the honey to employees to raise money for their Charity Partner.
We were fascinated by the bee world—all they are able to do, their values, their determination, resilience, skills and flexibility. During their life, a bee will have 7 jobs, depending on how old they are!
Sabrina Vansuyt, executive assistant at Saultain
“Our Honey Tastes Really Good”
A production hive can produce around 15-20 kg of honey each year. The hives at Saultain produced a whopping 90 kg of honey in 2020 (a particularly good season) and the honey was sold to raise €4,000 as a donation to Charity Partner Maison de l'Enfance d'Artres.
Everybody says that our honey tastes good! We are all very proud to promote sustainability thanks to our hives, but also to help the children.
The Shared Values of PPG and Bees
Neighboring our Saultain site, there are now nine hives at the Marly site too, installed by a couple of bee-enthusiastic employees.
Caroline Gustin, site coordinator at Marly, says the setting up of beehives is an important subject in the current environmental context.
We want to contribute to the protection of the species and deepen our knowledge of the very active life of bees. Their values are similar to ours at PPG and we want to share them with all employees.
Beekeeping is catching on across our sites in France. But with so much honey to share, it’s no wonder it’s spreading!