On the corner of busy Northside Drive and Ivan Allan Boulevard on the Westside of Atlanta sits three bee hives. I’ve passed them before while Traveling at the Speed of Bike, and recently I got the chance to walk across the street there with Tim Trefzer, the Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Manager of the Georgia World Congress Center (the largest LEED-certified conference center in the world), and Holly Elmore, the founder of Elemental Impact (a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing regenerative operating practices to the corporate community).
I had assumed that the bees were just another way for the conference center, which is the second largest economic engine in the state of Georgia (after the Port of Savannah), to gain points on its certification, but no. Turns out that a for-profit social enterprise named Bee Downtown asked to put the hives there (as it has done successfully with over 250 hives at leading corporations across the Southeast, including at the corporate campuses of Delta, AT&T, Invesco, IBM, Georgia Power, and more). Boasting 180,000 of our threatened pollinators, these hives produce 80 pounds of as-local-as-you-can-get honey each per year, for a total of 240 pounds, which are being used in food production by the conference center. Sweet.
This is just one of the many fun and fascinating stories I’ll be sharing on the Sustainability-in-Action Bike Tours from Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. If you travel to Atlanta for business (or as Bee Downtown likes to say, beesness), please consider this rubber-hits-the-road immersion. It’s all the buzz.