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.”
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.
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.
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.