ATLANTA — Communications company Cox Enterprises partnered with local beekeepers in 18 states to relocate and save honeybee colonies nesting in telecommunications pedestals, which protect underground cables. As of July 1, the company, which has long been a partner of pollinator organizations such as Bee Downtown, said it has saved 364 colonies, approximately 7.2 million honeybees, that would have been set for extermination.
Although the reason for nesting in telecommunications pedestals is unknown, some believe the heat and space provided by the technology is attractive to swarming colonies. This creates a less than ideal situation for property owners and bees. When honeybees nest near people, homes or buildings, they can pose a potential medical and structural threat. However, as pollinators, honeybees are critical to the plant ecosystem, so it’s always best to have them relocated.
Kim Bowman-Scott, director of field operations for Cox Communications, deals with bees in telecommunications pedestals regularly. Aware of Cox’s existing relationship with Bee Downtown, which installs and maintains beehives on corporate campuses and rebuilds healthy honeybee populations, Bowman-Scott contacted more than 40 beekeepers across the United States to assist with the removal of beehives in Cox’s telecommunications pedestals.
“It has been so rewarding to be able to not only save so many beehives and make a difference for our pollinators, but to know that Cox has my back to be able to do so,” said Bowman-Scott, whose company is based in Atlanta. “Most beekeeper bee removals are the same price or cheaper than the cost of an exterminator. We even have a few beekeepers who can remove the hives for free!”
Advocating for all types of pollinators is a crucial step in caring for the environment. Always call a local beekeeper to safely relocate a honeybee colony if you find one on your property, and try to provide habitats in your yard for native pollinators wherever possible.
“We were thrilled to help when Kim reached out,” says Leigh-Kathryn Bonner, founder and CEO of Bee Downtown, which is based out of Durham, North Carolina. “One by one, Cox has saved more than 350 colonies. It’s such a testament to the power of teamwork and stewardship. If we all work together like a hive, we can make a positive impact in the world that we’re all proud to be a part of.”