On World Bee Day, we celebrate the important role bees play in our ecosystem and how we can look to them to build better environments, better leaders, and better communities. The GWCCA bees returned to campus on Earth Day, April 22, in newly designed homes inspired by those same pillars that lead GWCCA Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility strategy and support its mission of enhancing the quality of life for every Georgian.
The first hive reflects on the pillar of Better Environment, highlighting the commitment to sustainability, focusing on waste diversion, infrastructure, food, and environmental education. Our GWCCA bees play an integral part in bettering the environment by being part of a unique 30-plus mile long healthy honeybee corridor in the City of Atlanta. Bees thrive in urban areas because they have stable living conditions, do not have many stressors, and there is more food for more extended periods through the year.
The second hive, Better Leaders, pays tribute to prominent City of Atlanta leaders who served, worked, and lived in the Downtown Atlanta area and surrounding campus neighborhoods. With drawings featuring community organizers and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King JR., Coretta Scott King, Ambassador Andrew Young, Congressman John Lewis, Ralph David Abernathy, Joseph and Evelyn Lowery, Xernona Clayton, and Benjamin May.
Like these prominent leaders who worked collectively to create legislation that improved the quality of life for all people in society, the collective behavior of bees translates to success of the hive. Bees use vibrations and pheromones to pass complex messages of where to find food sources, called the “waggle dance.” This effective way for the bees to communicate and collaborate is critical to the hive’s survival.
Finally, the hive Better Communities touches on how diversity and inclusivity of people help build stronger and more sustainable communities. There are three types of bees: worker bees secure food and protect the hives, drone bees are tasked with mating, and the queen bee defines her hive’s culture and lays eggs. There is also diversity in age. Older bees play a crucial part in teaching younger bees through their experiences. Each age group contributes to the hive’s overall health. The critical roles and responsibilities of the bees are clearly defined and performed effectively to contribute to the sustenance of the hive and ecosystem.
On World Bee Day, we encourage you to reflect on how GWCCA bees are doing their part to help our environment ecosystem and the lessons we can take to help us grow collectively as a team. To learn more about how to support bees and other pollinators critical for our food source, listen to The Great Georgia Pollinator Podcast, The Authoricast episode featuring Bee Downtown CEO Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, and support by buying honey locally from Georgia Farms.