The profine Group’s Logistics Service Centre in Berlin isn’t just a hive of activity, it really does buzz. In addition to the a swarm of trucks arriving here every day to unload KBE, Kömmerling and TROCAL window profiles there are around 70,000 bees flying in and out of the site. That’s because a team of employees have set up two hives at the Logistics Service Centre on an approx. 20 square meters wild flower meadow that they created especially for this project.
Owner and CEO Dr Peter Mrosik is a big fan of the project: “I think it’s a fantastic idea. It’s very important for our ecosystem and it also showcases the very diverse range of projects we are involved in.”
The team, whose members are Alexandra Liehr, Michael Lieschke, Bernd Affeld, Sven Rüdiger, Uwe Schmidt and René Schindler, came up with the idea to improve the biodiversity of the profine site. “We chose the bees because they are so important for our natural ecosystem,” said Alexandra Liehr. Over 70 varieties of plants, many of which are part of the human food chain, are pollinated by bees. Another interesting fact that not many people are aware of is that honey bees are the third most important working animal, after pigs and cows. They are also an endangered species. We want to help ensure that the honey bees survive and we hope that many other people will be inspired by our project.”
profine employees have set up two bee hives at the logistics centre. They took a course in beekeeping and have joined a beekeeper association.
Beekeeping at the company site – is it possible and how does it work?
There is a beekeeper in the trade association at the industrial park where profine is located. He was delighted about the project and happy to advise the team on the best way to approach it. The most important thing was for at least one team member to join the beekeepers association, which wasn’t a problem. At the same time all team members attended a theoretical course and a practical workshop at the teaching beehive in Marienfelde. “We learned a lot of interesting things about bees. For example, they always try to regulate the temperature in the hive. They stay warm by ‘snuggling up’ and they generate heat by contracting and retracting their flight muscles (vibrating). In summer they fan the hot air out of the hive. We’ve also put a water pool right next to the hive for the bees to use,” said the proud beekeeper.
Bees don’t just make honey, they also play an important role as pollinators. We can’t afford to allow them to become extinct because these little ‘working animals’ are essential to much of the human food chain.
The two beehives, each with a colony of bees, are located on the meadow next to the Logistics Service Centre’s main entrance. There are also two insect hotels behind the building. “The best thing about this project is that the whole workforce is involved,” said the team. They bring plants to put in the biotope for the bees and take on beekeeping tasks during their breaks or after work. The truck drivers, who arrive from many different countries, all enjoy seeing this green living space.
The beekeeping team: Bernd Affeld, Alexandra Liehr, Uwe Schmidt, René Schindler, Michael Lieschke, Sven Rüdiger (l-r)
And the bees? They’re very happy. According to the team they’re easy to look after. The hives are checked just once a week, and the only other tasks are preparations for spring and winter. Summarising, the team said, “We can all do something to promote biodiversity and protect the environment. And you have more options available to you if you work in a team. We’re glad that the management has given us this opportunity to initiate a hands-on environmental project like this that delivers genuine benefits.