The Bee's Knees!

Jul. 10, 2019

At Associated Labels and Packaging we're known for our innovative label and packaging solutions, our dedicated and hardworking team... and our beekeeping skills?

No Plan Bee

Why bees, you ask? AssociatedLP has a lot of customers in the Agriculture and Natural Foods Industry; we thought what better initiatives to be part of than pollinators?!  Bees are part of a group of small mammals (along with birds, bats, butterflies, beetles, and more) that "are responsible for bringing us one out of every three bites of food" (Pollinator Partnership). In fact, "honey bees alone are responsible for between 1.2 and 5.4 billion dollars in agricultural productivity in the United States" (Pollinator Partnership).

How insane is that!?

Clearly, bees are imperative "for ecosystem stability" (Simon Fraser University). Knowing this, we wanted to do our part to contribute positively to the bee crisis. What better way to do it than to create an apiary ourselves?


How Does It Work?

Three years ago, our Sustainability Manager Jay Ashworth started the setup with two locally-sourced beehives. "We started this project to be able to give back to the community in a way unrelated to our packaging," he says, "We want to increase awareness about the importance of pollinator plants and issues with local habitat loss for bees."

Jay checks the hives every two weeks to make sure that the queen is still laying eggs, they aren't overrun with disease, and to make sure there is enough room to expand. He even planted two California Lilacs nearby, which are basically catnip to bees.

Shortly after he set up the beehives, Jay found out he was actually allergic to bees (oops)! But that didn't deter him, and Jay formed a bond with the bees and now they're part of our family here at AssociatedLP. We even show our customers the hives on our tours or whenever they come to visit. Further, local customers are welcome to don one of our bee suits and join Jay in the hives at any time! They walk home with a greater appreciation and understanding of bees' role in our food systems (in addition to a jar of local, raw honey).

As you probably already know, sustainability is of huge importance to us at Associated. We are so proud of our beehives and their growth in the last three years. We're buzzing to see what the future brings!