New Seasons' gets a bee-plus for rooftop project

New Seasons will use the hive, on top of its Happy Valley store, for education purposes and to, of course, supply honey to sell.

New Seasons Market, which made a splash last week with the big reveal about its new zero-waste label, has more reasons to "bee" happy.

New Seasons announced this week it has introduced colonies of honeybees to hives at its Happy Valley store. The hives were built on the store's roof.

Some 50,000 of the worker bees will forage for nectar and pollen and, essentially, demonstrate how to produce honey. The house-made condiment, as it were, will eventually be available for sale.

“As a kid, I grew up with bee boxes in my back yard, tending bees and harvesting honey, and many of New Seasons’ staff have worked on farms or their parents were farmers,” said Mark Feuerborn, the Happy Valley New Seasons' manager, in a release. “The rapid decline of honeybees concerns us all, and it’s a problem for our growers and local gardeners. We want to make sure our favorite foods can still make it to the table, and this gives us new way to support local growers.”

GloryBee donated the hives while local apiary Foothills Honey donated two nucleus hives, or small established colonies. Beekeeper Damian Magista of Bee Local did the installation. Happy Valley New Seasons employee James Fitzpatrick, an amateur beekeeper, will work with Magista on maintaining the hive.

“Bees are gaining popularity in populated areas, which is great because they generally do really well there,” said Magista in the release. “It’s really exciting to see a local business being proactive and making an impact on the honeybee community and the ecosystem.”

New Seasons will eventually install a "bee-cam" at the Happy Valley spot and may add two additional hives at other stores.

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