August Mack Environmental Encourages Increase in Urban Honey Bee Population
INDIANAPOLIS – When August Mack Environmental (August Mack) employee, Jim Berndt, realized that the company’s office building, The Buick, was LEED® Gold Certified, he approached Shiel Sexton (the building owner/management company) with a request to place honey bee hives on the building’s roof. With Shiel Sexton’s permission, Berndt installed two honey bee hives, containing about 20,000 bees each, on top of the The Buick building located at 13th Street and Meridian.
While Berndt typically does most of his bee-keeping in a rural/residential area north of Indianapolis, he was very interested in the growing trend of bee-keeping in an urban environment. Many cities, like New York, London, and Chicago, have very successful urban bee populations. Urban environments produce a diverse population of plants in parks, landscape areas, window boxes, and even weeds in parking lots, many of which are excellent sources of pollen and nectar for honey bees.
For Berndt, the bee hives on top of August Mack’s office building are an experiment in urban bee-keeping. If they do well this year, he may add a few more hives next season.
Why is Berndt so passionate about bee-keeping? Worldwide honey bee populations have been declining. The combined stresses of parasites, monoculture, farming, and aggressive use of pesticides and herbicides have all contributed to this decline. Some estimates say that up to one-third of everything we eat is dependent on pollination by bees, so preservation of these important and fascinating creatures is in everyone’s best interest.
Berndt finds bee-keeping to be a very rewarding and relaxing hobby. “I like to think that my bees are playing some small part in maintaining our biodiversity and helping stabilize bee populations,” says Berndt.
August Mack Environmental, Inc. is a full-service environmental, health and safety (EH&S) consulting firm specializing in regulatory compliance; environmental due diligence and risk management; site investigation/remediation/closure; and sustainability services to the industrial, legal, financial, health care and government sectors throughout North America. August Mack has offices in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Alabama. For more information on the company’s products and services, call 317.916.8000 or visit www.augustmack.com.
The Buick building, a historic landmark located at 1302 North Meridian, is owned and managed by Shiel Sexton, and leased by DTZ.