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MORE BEES ON OUR HEADQUARTERS’ ROOFTOP

May 20th, 2021 | 2 min read

The settlement of bee colonies on the roof of our corporate headquarters in Vienna, Austria, last October was a great success. Around 80,000 honeybees survived the winter very well and our beekeepers expect the population to increase by 7 to 8 times by summer. On World Bee Day, employees have the chance see the inside of a beehive and learn more about the insects to whom we owe much more than just delicious honey.    

More buzz around the office building

The buzzing on our headquarters’ roof has increased significantly since Pipelife’s hobby beekeepers led by Kathrin Hischenhuber, Assistant to the CFO, brought up five beehives in October 2020. Despite the extraordinary long winter and cold spring, the rooftop honeybees were strong enough for further company. “We have added further colonies, and now have a total of 10 on the roof”, says Kathrin proudly, “If everything goes well, we expect the population to increase to around 500,000 bees by summer.”

Pipelife hobby bee keeper holds up beehive tray

Hobby beekeeper Kathrin showing the first bee colonies that moved to the rooftop in october 2020

Pipelife's resident bee keeper David Graham inspects the bee hive

Hobby beekeeper David Graham, Pipelife Health and Safety Manager, setting up the bees' new home.

Promoting Biodiversity with Honeybees

The Wienerberger House rooftop is the perfect location for the busy pollinators. The building is set right at the edge of the Wienerberg Recreational Area Wienerberg which has been established in Vienna’s 10th district in the 1980s. As urban ecological biotope, this area is home to numerous animal and plant species, some of which are even on the red list of threatened species.

The bees will find enough food foraging the various flowering plants that depend on them as pollinators supporting biodiversity at the Wienerberg Recreational Area. Promoting biodiversity is front of mind at Pipelife and is part of the Wienerberger group’s 2023 Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance Goals. “The majority of flowering plants all over the world depend on pollination by insects. Around 85 percent is done by honeybees. They significantly contribute to maintaining our flora. It was only natural that we supported the implementation of David and Kathrin’s idea.”, states Harald Schwarzmayr, CEO Pipelife. 

Honey Production

The population of bees will now quickly expand. Increased amounts of pollen and nectar stimulate the bees to brood rearing. “After the next expansion of their habitat, we’ll be setting up the honey frames for the bees to build combs and store their honey. If we are lucky, they will produce more than they need to feed their population, and we’ll be able to enjoy some samples and share them with our business partners,” says Kathrin.

Settling in: after relocation from the roof of the Federal Educational Institute for the Blind in Vienna to Wienerberger’s headquarters, the bees need time to adjust to their new surroundings.
The bees will find enough food foraging the various flowering plants that depend on them as pollinators supporting biodiversity at the nature preserve Wienerberg.

CELEBRATING WORLD BEE DAY AT THE WIENERBERGER HOUSE

In the meantime, employees have the chance to learn everything they wish to know about bees and apiculture. On World Bee Day, Kathrin and David will provide colleagues at the Wienerberger House with an educational presentation showing also what a beehive looks like on the inside. Two hives have been brought to a public terrace of the building where employees can watch them safely from behind the glass. With a little bit of luck, we may even catch a glimpse of a queen.   

Bee hotel made from recycled pipes and reeds

Pipelife bee hotel

Bees are essential for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity and their numbers have a direct impact on our environment.

Native bees are now an endangered species, and so their preservation is important to biodiversity. Building a bee hotel is one way to support this.

Although domesticated honey bees are not endangered as a species, they are responsible for pollinating most plants. Playing a huge role in biodiversity.

To mark World Bee Day here is a quick update on how our little friends are doing on the HQ roof.

Bees & Biodiversity

Bees are essential for the preservation of ecological balance and biodiversity and their numbers have a direct impact on our environment.

Native bees are now an endangered species so their preservation is important to biodiversity. Building a bee hotel is one way to support this.

Although domesticated honey bees are not endangered as a species, they are responsible for pollinating most plants. Playing a huge role in biodiversity.

To mark World Bee Day here is a quick update on how our little friends are doing on the HQ roof.

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