As part of ATR’s strategy to promote eco-responsibility, we have housed beehives on the roof of the ATR Training Center, for several years. The health of bees is an excellent indicator of air quality and biodiversity. By helping to protect these pollinating insects, which are responsible for 35% of global food supply and 65% of the planet’s biodiversity, we are taking a major step towards preserving local biodiversity.
During the months of May and June, we frequently welcome beekeepers to our site, who help ensure that the hive populations remain healthy and happy. When a Queen Bee feels cramped, or is not laying many eggs, she may decide to leave the hive, taking with her nearly 10,000 bees – which can lead to swarms. The colony’s foragers go on a scouting mission to find a new place to settle, and all of the other bees gather around the queen to protect her.
Any hive that has lost its queen in this way retains more than half of the remaining bees to raise the new Queen. This leads to a disruption in the colony, which means that it has to completely restart, producing less honey. To avoid this, the beekeeper ‘divides’ the hive to give a Queen Bee more space and discourage her from leaving.