As the issue of honeybee decline grows with each coming year, it’s not uncommon to hear about popular, powerful people or companies that go out of their way to contribute to the cause of ceasing the spread of colony collapse disorder (CCD). Given that beekeepers see about one fourth of their hives collapse each year due to various factors—diseases, pesticides, varroa mites, and more—any help big names can provide is never unwelcome. Now, another company can be added to the roster of businesses playing some part to help honeybees. However, it’s not one most people would expect—the German sports car manufacturer Porsche, based in the southern German city of Stuttgart.
At one of its factories in Leipzig, Porsche has provided a space to call home for about 25 honeybee colonies or 1.5 million bees. In what many have called a way to boost Porsche’s “green” credentials, this decision is still considered an odd one for the company, considering its sports utilities and luxury sports cars are not well known for their economical fuel consumption or their sustainability. “Introducing the honeybee colonies is our way of contributing to the protection of domestic animals and plants,” Siegfried Buelow, the chair for the Porsche Leipzig board, said.
How Porsche Got Involved
Porsche claimed that it felt prompted to take action upon learning from Germany’s beekeeper’s association about the country’s colony numbers, which had dropped from 2.5 million back in 1952 to less than one million in the present. It’s said that of 560 bee species that live in Germany, nearly half are threatened by extinction. As well, next to pigs and cow, bees are considered Germany’s most vital production animal, as per bee authorities, given they pollinate a great portion of agricultural crops when they carry pollen between flowers.
Regarding Porsche’s 1.5 million honeybees, the company said the bees’ new home will be on 40 hectares (or nearly 100 acres) of natural, untouched land. Porsche estimates the bees will produce an annual 88 pounds of honey, with the plan being to use the honey in the Leipzig factory’s staff cafeteria. The company also plans to sell honey in the Porsche Leipzig’s customer center by late 2017.
The paddock of land that is to be the home for these bees was originally designed to be a conservation area when the factory in Leipzig was built. Together with numerous kinds of flora as well as the newly initiated bees, the 99 acres are also home to various species of insects, birds, frogs, bats, hares, aurochs cattle, and wild horses.
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