Bees join the workforce at Carilion with “Bee Healthy” Apiary

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) – Carilion New River Valley Medical Center has some new employees ‘buzzing’ to get to work. Beekeeping has become one of the medical center’s newest green practices at its first ever Bee Healthy Apiary.

“Their job is to collect nectar and pollen, which indirectly impacts the environment by providing pollination for all the flowering, fruit, and trees — and the food that we eat,” said Daniel Kolasa.

Daniel Kolasa is a radiographer-turned-beekeeper. He is gearing up to show how these bees’ help is part of the Bee Healthy initiative.

“The importance of having a bee apiary here on the property was because Carilion is in the business of taking care of patients and this indirectly helps patients,” said Kolasa.

Kolasa said bees don’t only pollinate flowers. Bees fly several miles from hives to produce healthier food, fruit and an overall community.

“As you can see with us standing in front of them, the bees do not bother anybody; they are doing their job just flying out and pollinating,” said Kolasa.

The apiary is made up of two hives that sit inside an electrical fence to keep animals away.

“I’m glad to see that, you know, that people do realize the importance of honeybees in a healthy environment, because indirectly that means a healthy community,” said Kolasa.

The medical center said while the Bee Healthy initiative is not led by their sustainability program, it does go hand-in-hand with their work to improve community wellness through sustainability.

This project was thanks to a grant from the Carilion Medical Center. To learn more about their sustainability efforts, click here.

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