30,000 new employees start work today in one of SAS’ sweetest acquisitions to date.

Bee Downtown, a North Carolina-based company using businesses in cities to help save honey bee populations, will install two hives on SAS world headquarters campus, bringing with them 30,000 - 40,000 new honey bees. Bee Downtown-sponsored hives allow businesses to play a direct role in stabilizing honey bee populations.

SAS is placing two hives on a plot of land near the SAS solar farm, out of the way of buildings and people. The hives will be maintained by Bee Downtown and will be worked every two weeks between spring and fall, and once a month in colder months, when the bees are inactive.

"We are so excited to have SAS join us in our work to help save the honey bees," Founder and CEO of Bee Downtown Leigh-Kathryn Bonner said. "To see a company that is the size and scale of SAS not only join in partnership with a small startup, but further set the standard of how large businesses should be a driving force in environmental sustainability, is an opportunity we are proud to be a part of."

Justin Maness of Bee Downtown teaching Jerry Williams, of SAS, about the bees.

Jerry Williams, SAS Sustainability Program Manager, said, "As a corporate sustainability leader, SAS’ latest environmental investment is helping save honey bee populations, especially in urban areas. Beehives are a great fit for our established environmental program as well as our culture."

Branded boxes and education

SAS’ honey bee hives will have a specific look to them, thanks to SAS’ Artists-in-Residence Juliana Craig and Pete Sack. Craig and Sack painted special designs so that the hives stand out.

While employees won’t be able to extract honey themselves or become BFFs with the bees, informal classes for employees to watch and learn from the beekeepers will be offered throughout the year at the hives.

With the birth of SAS software being rooted in agriculture and the majority of land at SAS campus originally being used for farming, it’s a natural move for SAS to support Bee Downtown and their repopulation initiative.  "Also, given the beehives proximity to our Culinary Farm, we think there’s an additional benefit for them to help pollinate the locally grown vegetables used in our cafes," said Williams. "As we told the bees during their new employee orientation, your ability to multi-task makes you an invaluable resource."

Once the hives are producing honey, SAS has talked about using it as gifts for visitors and customers or maybe offering it for employees in our cafes.

Learn more about SAS' commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, including efforts in recycling, solar farming, green building and electric cars.

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Allison Hines

Communications Specialist, SAS Marketing

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