Ford has its sights on helping the ecosystem in a very unusual way. The company announced its global beekeeping program by introducing six new hives at its Dearborn World Headquarters.
“Sustainability is more than improving fuel economy and reducing waste,” said Kim Pittel, Ford’s vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, in a statement. “It’s about improving the environment we live in for all, and that includes honeybees, pollinators and the ecosystems that depend on them.”
The hives themselves aren’t just run of the mill. Ford held a contest to design the shells that will surround the hives. Vehicle interior designer Chris Westfall took the win for his design, which resembles a futuristic-looking pod aimed at protecting the hives against the elements. Ford expects its campus to be home to some 360,000 honeybees.
The six new hives will be situated inside a walking path extension north of Ford World Headquarters. Ford employees who initiated the program will serve as beekeepers managing the hives, according to the company.
The automotive industry has typically been on the opposing side when it comes to the battle for the environment. With the inception of electric vehicles and, of course, Elon Musk, eco-friendly is now the “cool” thing to do. It should come as no surprise, then that the manufacturers, and fuel companies now begun to work hand in hand with the auto industry to create a cleaner planet, and yes, that includes honeybees.
Ford beekeepers will provide data on its efforts to the Sentinel Apiary Program, a collective of nearly 70 beekeepers from 26 states who track honeybee health and diseases nationally.