DENVER, Colo. — It really is amazing how much you can learn when a beehive is right in front of you. That's especially true when you have the help of someone like Mike Rosol. He's not just any beekeeper; he's attending to bees who live on the properties of major companies like Gates Corporation.
Gates Corporation is a leading manufacturer of application-specific fluid power and power transmission solutions. Head of sustainability, Christopher Thomas, says it is prime to their mission for employees to be a part of direct impact within the community.
"We have a global footprint, offices, manufacturing, distribution, all around the world but have maintained our presence here in Denver, Colorado since our beginnings over 100 years ago," said Thomas. "We encourage people to find those causes, those missions, that make sense both to them but also what's our impact, what's the greater impact that we can create."
For Gates, the partnership with a company like Free Range Beehives was a no-brainer. Companies like IBM and Google have followed suit, dedicating budget lines to saving the bees. Co-founder and VP of operations at Free Range Beehives, John Rosol, explains there is no time to waste when educating people on the declining bee population.
"So, our goal at Free Range Beehives, and what we hope the goal of similar beekeepers and the corporations we work with, is to establish these populations that are good for the environment and the bees," Rosol said. "The situation is quite severe, unfortunately. The bees are facing threats from a number of sources that are primarily human-caused. A world without bees doesn't have humans in it. They are critical pollinators both for agriculture and for the natural world."
There are a few reasons this effort is so different than simply having a hive in your backyard. Expert beekeepers are on site taking care of the hives, companies have more funds to invest, and thousands of employees are impacted by the education they provide.
"Bees are incredibly interconnected with humans and they pollinate 1 out of 3 three bites of food we eat, so over 30% of our crops come from bees, and those are things like avocados, onions, and coffee, which I know I couldn't' live without," Rosol explained.
They found a void to fill, all while connecting these companies to the communities they are a part of.
"There's lots of people here and generally if the leadership cares about these kinds of initiatives, it trickles down," Rosol said.
Another co-founder of Free Range Beehives, Dave Mathias, says by having these partnerships the bees have a better chance of rebounding.
"The impact as it relates to educating employees and the community can be very fruitful. We do a lot of engagement with employees where we take them into the hives," Mathias said. "Any company can write a check to an organization and we just appreciate and I know our clients and partners appreciate that it's something that they are doing that has direct and measurable impact within the community."
They say it's a win-win situation. It's an effort to save the declining bee population and an opportunity to make great impressions and investments within communities.
If you would like to learn more about Free Range Beehives and the work they do, click here.