Giant Co. President Nicholas Bertram welcomed two hives of honeybees back to the company's headquarters in Pennsylvania.
The Giant Co. has added two new beehives to its 7-acre, pollinator-friendly solar field at its corporate headquarters in Carlisle, Pa., following the theft of 60,000 bees from the same area earlier this year. The grocer eventually plans to house 450,000 honeybees in nine beehives by next year.
The Giant Co. added the original colonies in 2020 as part of its sustainability and supply efforts. It was the first grocer to participate 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.
“The theft of our bees and beehives in January brought to light the issue many beekeepers around the country are facing – not only have bee populations been declining for decades, now they are also being stolen,” said Nicholas Bertram, president of The Giant Co.
“Bees and other pollinators are crucial to growing fruits and vegetables; without them, our produce departments and mealtimes around the table would look much different, with many of our favorite items missing from plates,” Bertram continued. “Recognizing the impact bee colony loss has on our local food supply chain, we knew we would bring honeybees back to our corporate headquarters, but not everyone is as fortunate as us. That’s why we also wanted to support other local beekeepers impacted by this issue, too.”
The unveiling of the new beehives is in celebration of National Pollinator Week, and through a partnership with Planet Bee Foundation, Giant Co. awarded a total of $10,000 in grants to five local beekeepers to help replace bee colonies, rebuild beehives and continue research.
“This grant will allow me to enhance bee breeding efforts, which ultimately enable better survival rates and provide strong queens to other local beekeepers in the Midstate,” said John Patterson, a central Pennsylvania beekeeper. “The grant money will also help fund some of the equipment needed to maintain the existing beehives and splits as the colony continues to grow. Lastly, the funding will help with late season feeding of sugar syrups to build up the storage for the honeybees to feed on over the winter.”
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, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Its brands are Food Lion, FreshDirect, The Giant Co., Giant Food, Hannaford, Stop & Shop, Peapod and Retail Business Services.