Introducing Our 'Hills Hives'
Late last year, Hill Laboratories sponsored our staff two hives for the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the honey industry and the lifecycle of bees. Crystal Jones and Bernadette Rodrigues, from our Food and Bioanalytical Client Service team, have dedicated time to learn the trade of beekeeping through Fraser High School night classes, and have established the hives in a location where the bees can forage on the food around them.
As part of our strategy to pro-actively engage our staff in the sectors we service, a beehive club called ‘Hills Hives’ has been created so that staff can receive video and image updates on the hives, as well as a chance to win some delicious honey. The club was formed to educate staff on the importance of bee health, reinforce the importance of our work to our clients and demonstrate where laboratory testing fits into the beekeeping process. Recently, we ran an in-house competition to name our largest Queen Bee. Out of a pool of multiple names, Bumblelina was chosen as the first queen's name and the winner was awarded the first jar of honey produced by ‘Hills Hives’.
Crystal and Bernadette aim to check on the hives at least once every 10 days, to see how they are progressing and to date they have already seen lots of brood as the hive population starts to grow. The hives have become a great asset to their surrounding areas as they pollinate the local gardens, produce a food source and contribute to supporting complex, interconnected ecosystems.
Here is a time-lapse video of Crystal and Bernadette checking for the queens in Hills Hives.