The Giant Co. plans to replace the tens of thousands of bees that were stolen from a field at its headquarters.
In a loss for the local food chain and regional bee populations, colonies of nearly 60,000 bees have been stolen from a site at The Giant Co.'s headquarters in Carlisle, Pa. According to media reports, the pollinators were taken from the 7-acre solar field between Jan. 28 and Jan. 30.
The Giant Co. added the colonies in 2020 as part of its sustainability and supply efforts. The company was the first grocer to take part in the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s InSPIRE study, in which scientists measure and track the performance of the pollinator-friendly ground cover for applications to future solar energy projects.
“Bees are an essential part of our food supply chain and having these beehives were one way we were helping to address the declining bee population here in our hometown community,” said Jessica Groves, community impact manager with Giant in a statement. “We are extremely disappointed that this happened and are continuing to cooperate with Middlesex Township Police Department.”
The retailer alerted other area beekeepers to shore up their security to prevent a similar theft. As companies like Giant, along with other business owners and homeowners, have added bee colonies as a way to stem major declines in pollinator populations, thieves have also entered the picture. The president of the Capital Area Beekeepers Association told a local TV new station that such thefts have been on the rise. “Unfortunately it is a big problem and unfortunately they’re being stolen by other beekeepers normally,” said Gary Carns, who owns Carns Bee Farm in Millersburg, Pa.
The Middlesex Township Police Department in Pennsylvania is leading the investigation and asking for information from the public via an anonymous tip line.
With more than 35,000 associates supporting nearly 190 stores, 132 pharmacies, 107 fuel stations, and 150-plus online pickup hubs and grocery delivery service in hundreds of ZIP codes, The Giant Co., based in Carlisle, Pa., encompasses the following banners: Giant, Martin’s, Giant Heirloom Market, Giant Direct and Martin’s Direct. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, is No. 10 on The PG 100, PG’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in the United States.