Ford Motor Co. launches beekeeping program at world headquarters

The Ford Motor Co. World Headquarters is buzzing with excitement, not with news of a new car, though. The company is launching a beekeeping program to help stop the decline of the bee population. 

We may see them as little pesks, but the honeybees actually help produce more than 30 percent of the world's food supply. And, each year, the bee population continues to decline. 

Six hives have been installed at Ford's headquarters in Dearborn. The program was founded by employees who are beekeepers in their personal lives, and they'll manage the hives, too. Ford designers also came up with artpieces that also serve as a functional home to the hives.

More than 350,000 bees are housed in those six new hives. In each hive you'll find the queen, and then mostly other female bees along with some drones, or male bees. Unlike the female worker, drones don't have stingers and they don't gather nectar or pollen. Their main job is to mate. 

The idea for the hives came to Ford IT project manager Cormac Wright when he saw a program on the news about a beekeeping program in Canada, where hotels were putting hives on their roofs. Already aware of Ford's global footprint, he thought they could do the same thing and the idea has been in the works since 2016. 

Wright says the bee population has been declining about 30 to 40 percent every year, over the last 10-15 years. 

"(Ford has) got great global presence with the number of employees; the more people that know about it the more people can do things, like perhaps plant pollinator friendly flowers and be aware of pesticides they're using," Wright says. 

Wright showed us the bees at work in one of the hives, and how they're filling the honeycomb and then capping each little section when it's full. You can see them at work in the video player above. 

The walkway to see the beehives is open to the public.