Following the theft of its honeybees earlier in 2022, Giant announced that two new beehives, including 30,000 honeybees, now call the 7 acre pollinator solar field at its corporate headquarters home.
“The theft of our bees and beehives in January brought to light the issue many beekeepers around the country are facing — not only have bee populations been declining for decades, now they are also being stolen,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of Giant. “Bees and other pollinators are crucial to growing fruits and vegetables; without them, our produce departments and mealtimes around the table would look much different, with many of our favorite items missing from plates. Recognizing the impact bee colony loss has on our local food supply chain, we knew we would bring honeybees back to our corporate headquarters, but not everyone is as fortunate as us. That’s why we also wanted to support other local beekeepers impacted by this issue, too.”
The Carlisle, Pa.-based company said that it will continue to add to the colony over the next several months and ultimately house 450,000 honeybees in nine beehives by 2023.
“Over the last two years, we have become more intimately aware of where our food comes from and how it gets to us — and the connecting points and people who make it all happen. But another equally important piece of the puzzle is pollinators,” said Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture secretary Russell Redding. “One out of every three bites of food we eat is thanks to pollinators, including bees, and their role in promoting biodiversity and plant health within our greater food system. The Department of Agriculture is honored to kick off National Pollinator Week with our partners at Giant. Initiatives like these are advancing community and sustainability for generations to come.”
Through a partnership with Planet Bee Foundation, the company said that it awarded five central Pennsylvania beekeepers grants that total $10,000. The funds will be used by the beekeepers to replace bee colonies, rebuild beehives and continue research.
“This grant will allow me to enhance bee breeding efforts, which ultimately enable better survival rates and provide strong queens to other local beekeepers in the midstate,” said John Patterson, a local beekeeper. “The grant money will also help fund some of the equipment needed to maintain the existing beehives and splits as the colony continues to grow. Lastly, the funding will help with late season feeding of sugar syrups to build up the storage for the honeybees to feed on over the winter.”