The next time you enjoy a delicious meal made with locally sourced foods, don’t just thank the chef. Thank the bees. They do much more than produce honey. As pollinators they play a crucial role in the food chain. Their troubles, however, have been well documented. Bees are under attack by both.
Some local bee benefactors are working to reverse this trend. The Common Acre, whose stated goal is to foster environmental and civic harmony, “to embrace culture and agriculture,” is leading the charge to bring the bees back. The group has struck a deal to use buffer land around runways at Sea-Tac Airport to raise bees naturally and free of chemicals.
The partnership, called Flight Path, with the support of the Port of Seattle, Seattle City Light and Urban Bee Company is turning scrub land into pollinator habitat, and transforming a corner of the airport concourse (Terminal “Bee,” naturally) into a sparkling art and education exhibit.
According to Bob Redmond, of Common Acre, creating pollinator habitats will do a lot to support our local food economy because, “One in three bites of food is due to bees ‘being or not.’ Can we pollinate the crops we have?”
The first hives went in earlier this year. Donations got Flight Path off the ground. The hope is that revenue from honey sales will sustain the program in the future. Presently 30 sites account for over 200 acres of pollinator habitat.
And all the buzz about The Common Acre’s innovative bee program has put it in the running to win substantial grant and investment money. Later this month the Bob Redmond as presenter will compete in the Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch showdown. The annual competition of local social innovators is Tuesday, October 28th at McCaw Hall. The program starts at 5:00 p.m. You can still buy tickets. Also check out all 14 of this year’s finalists.