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Silicon Valley's new green trend: bees

Posting in Cities

There's a lot of buzz coming out of Silicon Valley these days. But it has nothing to do with the latest gadget or startup. It's a new trend of San Francisco-area companies embracing the bee.

The Wall Street Journal reports that firms across the region are adding beehives to their headquarters or rooftops in an effort to bolster their green image, in addition to improving employee wellness and, of course, cultivating honey.

"It's really starting to become an integrated way of life in San Francisco and the Bay Area," says Robert Mackimmie, founder of City Bees, a beehive management and advocacy group in San Francisco. [...]

While there are no known statistics on how many buildings and businesses have their own beehives, it is apparent the trend is growing, says Philip Gerrie, president of the San Francisco Beekeepers Association. He says many businesses were spurred to help fortify the bee population by previous reports of a phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder, in which worker bees fail to return to their hives, leaving the colony to fend for itself.

But it's not just tiny startups with apiaries, major tech companies are investing in beekeeping projects. WSJ points to Intel's five beehive and 200,000 bees and the four hives at Google's headquarters. In addition to pollinating flowers on their grounds and throughout the region, the two companies use the honey in the employee cafeteria and offer beekeeping classes.

Companies Get Sweet on Bees [Wall Street Journal]

Photo: Flickr/nicolas.boullosa

— By on November 8, 2012, 2:13 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure