NATO bees are busy at bi-annual honey harvest
On a bright summer day, staff joined the NATO beekeeper at the honey harvesting workshop at Alliance Headquarters in Brussels on Thursday (10 August 2023). Starting with two hives in 2020, the NATO apiary currently contains four beehives due to the success of honey production. This year’s yield is expected to reach around 50 kilograms.
The NATO beekeeper harvests honey from the hives twice a year. Depending on weather conditions, one hive can produce up to 25 kilograms of honey. A significant portion of honey is left for the bees to use for survival during the winter months. Around 350 jars of NATO honey were sold at the NATO Charity Bazaar in November 2022, and Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg gifted jars of NATO honey to ambassadors in the North Atlantic Council last December.
The NATO bee hives are part of a wider ‘greening’ initiative at NATO Headquarters. The honey bees play a vital role in the local ecosystem as they pollinate surrounding trees, crops and plants within a 3 kilometre range. This includes the wildflower meadow at NATO headquarters, with a mix of indigenous plants and flowers including poppies and corn flowers, which were specifically chosen to encourage bees, butterflies and birds. Workshops like this aim to raise awareness about the importance of supporting biodiversity and preserving natural habitats under the threat of climate change.
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