A fourth-generation beekeeper, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner founded Bee Downtown to “bring sustainable agriculture back into cities,” according to area manager Scottie McLeod. The for-profit installs and maintains beehives on corporate campuses across the southeast while providing educational connections.
In November of 2021 Bee Downtown installed three beehives at Wellstar Vinings Health Park in Smyrna that will promote Wellstar’s team member engagement, community enrichment and produce about 150 jars of honey in the first season.
“We have also partnered with Open Hand Atlanta so we could get that honey to people who don’t necessarily have access to all the kinds of foods that many of us do,” said Capps.
“Every third bite of food you eat is thanks to a pollinator. They’re incredible at reducing, reusing and recycling inside the hive, and then when it comes to teamwork and communication, they’re incredible and extremely efficient,” McLeod said in an email to the AJC.
There is “exponential growth in the colony right now. The queen has started laying about 1,500 eggs per day in each of those colonies,” said Bee Downtown founder and CEO.
“The bees that are on the Vinings campus are the mouthpiece in the city to link people back to agriculture, Bonner said. “Wellstar has been an amazing partner from the start and so excited about being on this journey with us.”
Being recognized for making a difference in a community “broadly” is equally important to Wellstar Health System.
“Just our three hives will have literally billions of pollination events. I think very strongly we all just have to jump in and start making a difference. This is a great example of that. This project is aligned so strongly with the core mission of Wellstar, it gets us so excited about the potential,” Capps said.
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