Brookfield's Newest Rooftop Amenity: Bees
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Bees?! Bees. That's right, while some buildings are putting bars and lounge chairs on their rooftop, Brookfield Office Properties has placed honeybee colonies on four of its DC office buildings: 650 Massachusetts Ave NW, 799 9th St NW, 1400 K St NW, 1250 Connecticut Ave NW. One of those buildings, 799 9th, has both, but Brookfield chief engineer Mike Phillips says the humans and honeybees are too far away to disturb each other. The entire project is the brainchild of Brookfield DC operations chief Jackie Duke, pictured above with her very own hive, who wanted to help the bee population and the environment. "Bees are critical to the ecosystem. We are happy to help promote their well-being in the city plus they are just cool little creatures,” she says.
The bees come from Georgetown Honeybee and are shipped from parts down South. Each hive is populated with a queen and thousands of drones. Once they're placed in their new home, they are fed "to get them started," Mike says, but they adapt quickly to become self-sustaining. The bees aren't dangerous; rather, they help everyone, especially Brookfield's office competitors with green roofs and vegetation on their buildings. "Honeybees have an ability to pollinate a massive area at one time," Mike says. He keeps honeybees in his backyard in Virginia. "If you want your flowers and local gardens, they're now the pollinators." Mike was unsure if/when Brookfield would add to its growing bee empire, but he hopes the programs expand. Considering the way Jackie and VP Greg Meyer have embraced the program, the buzz may be growing soon.