Bee Downtown brings sustainable agriculture into cities by installing beehives on corporate campuses across the southeast. These installations create unique experiences for companies and their employees, such as tours, beekeeping classes, honey extractions and more, in sweet moments that allow teams to connect, build trust and decompress from the daily routine.
In the spring of 2022, Bee Downtown installed three beehives at the back of Wellstar Vinings Health Park, a one-stop-shop for a wide variety of outpatient services, such as primary care, urgent care, pharmacy and imaging.
Catalyst by Wellstar also invited Open Hand Atlanta to come on board the project, ensuring the impact of the beehives will extend to the entire community. Wellstar will donate 150 jars of the honey produced to Open Hand Atlanta, the largest community-based provider of home-delivered meals and nutrition services in the Southeastern United States.
These jars will be included in “market baskets” of groceries going out to community members in the metro Atlanta area who are experiencing food insecurity.
Because honeybees are the world’s number one pollinator, responsible for pollinating 70 of the world’s top 100 food crops, these beehives will also bring a positive impact to an area of over 18,000 acres in the Vinings community.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one out of three bites in the food we eat is thanks to pollinators like birds and bees, and it’s estimated that they contribute to a $200 billion financial impact annually.
In addition to the environmental, societal and financial contributions, these beehives also allow Wellstar Vinings Health Park team members to connect in team building activities that relieve the stress of the daily routine.
“By offering a home to these beehives, Wellstar is using its physical footprint in Georgia to make a lasting impact on the environment while contributing to the nutrition and health of people in our communities,” said Jaimie Clark, Head of Innovation at Catalyst by Wellstar and Director of Innovation and Venture Strategy for Wellstar Health System. “Our aim at Catalyst by Wellstar is to incorporate practical and sustainable business practices that have positive, lasting impact as we design the future of healthcare.”
The three beehives were installed at Wellstar Vinings Health Park in April 2022. Since then, our honeybees have flown over 5.4 million miles – 218 trips around the world – and were responsible for billions of pollination events in our community. Over this time, they have already produced over 100 pounds of honey. They also created excitement, curiosity and sustainability awareness in patients and guests.
“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,” said Dr. Hank Capps, MD FAAFP, Executive Vice President, Chief Information and Digital Officer at Wellstar Health System.
The Bee Downtown, Open Hand Atlanta and Catalyst by Wellstar partnership is strategically aligned with the system’s mission of enhancing the health and well-being of every person we serve. These beehives are not only benefiting our teams with more opportunities for bonding through several group activities, but are also agents for improving the environment around them. Their produce will also help feed families in the Atlanta region facing food insecurity.