GSA Pollinator Initiative:
How the Federal Government Can Promote Pollinator Health Through Data-Driven Solutions
This spring, honey beehives have become an exciting new feature at 11 GSA locations throughout the country. Known as GSA’s Pollinator Initiative, this data-driven pilot supports the federal commitment to do more to protect pollinators and save the bees. Led by GSA’S Center for Urban Development, the program features data-yielding beehives that are being supported by GSA’s contractor, The Best Bees Company, and subject matter experts and facility managers throughout GSA’s Regions.
Watch the recording of this webinar to learn about how GSA is currently supporting The National Strategy to Promote Honeybees and Other Pollinators through current policies. Based on the latest science on bee health and The Best Bees Company’s approach to genomic research, the initiative aims to identify place-based best practices in landscaping and planning for pollinators. Learn how these efforts are increasing our understanding of what is needed to save bees and how the federal government can be a partner to maximize its impact.
GSA Locations Hosting Honeybee Beehives
- Frederick C. Murphy Federal Center in Waltham, MA
- 201 Varick Street Federal Building in Manhatten, NY
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services HQ in Woodlawn, MD
- Century City Post Office in Raleigh, NC
- US Courthouse in Hammond, IN
- Federal Archives Records Center in Chicago, IL
- Lanham Federal Buildings in Fort Worth, TX
- Denver Federal Center in Denver, CO
- National Archives in San Bruno, CA
- Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Building in Portland, OR
- FDA White Oaks in Silver Spring, MD
What You Will Learn
- Current GSA facility and landscape designs practices that support pollinator practices in support of federal sustainability directives and pollinator health.
- The latest science on bee health
- The link between bee nutrition & beehive longevity and productivity
- What outcomes are expected from GSA’s Pollinator Initiative
- How beehive data and earth observations are can support what government agencies are doing to help the bees
Noah Wilson-Rich, Ph.D., The Best Bees Company
Noah Wilson-Rich's perspective as a biologist and chief scientific officer of The Best Bees Company informs active research collaborations with Harvard, MIT, NASA, National Geographic, Urban Beekeeping Laboratory and more. Wilson-Rich cofounded the nation's premiere commercial and residential beekeeping service, servicing 20 cities and their surrounding areas nationwide. Using a custom-built digital platform to collect bee health data at scale, The Best Bees Company makes an outsized impact on the larger mission to save the bees, and helps clients understand the quantifiable impact they have on the environment by opening their rooftops to pollinators. The data studied by Best Bees scientists, recorded by beekeepers tending to hives across the country, provides a detailed look into pollinator health, biodiversity of local ecosystems, optimal conditions for successful beehives, and more. The Best Bees Company started as a way for Wilson-Rich to continue his Ph.D. research into honeybee immunology. Wilson-Rich reports original research findings in traditional ways, with over 20 peer-reviewed publications, and through creative channels such as The Bee: A Natural History.
Amber Levofsky, National Program Manager
Amber Levofsky is a Senior Advisor for the Center for Urban Development within the General Services Administration (GSA), where she serves as the National Program Manager for GSA’s Pollinator Protection Initiative. Ms. Levofsky also advises the Center’s Director and programs within GSA on a wide range of methods to integrate community engagement into PBS’s climate change, sustainability and environmental justice programs and processes. Ms. Levofsky was most recently the Executive Operations Manager for the Permitting Council where she led federal policy efforts to improve the environmental permitting & review process for large and complex infrastructure projects. She previously served as a Program Examiner at the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), where she oversaw budgetary, regulatory, and legislative policy for several Department of the Interior agencies. Prior to this she was a Project Manager for the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment and worked as community liaison for DOD initiatives. Ms. Levofsky earned a MBA and MRP from the University of North Carolina and a certificate in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.
About The Best Bees Company
The Best Bees Company installs and maintains honeybee hives on commercial and residential properties in urban centers across the US. Our mission is to improve bee health and expand the bee population. Since 2010, we’ve made a tangible, positive impact on the environment, one beehive at a time.
Our beekeeping methodology controls for variability, ensuring the data we collect on each beehive is suitable for rigorous research. Our clientele includes corporations that want to activate sustainability in their business model, individuals who want to reinvigorate their local ecosystem from their own backyard, and property owners who want a turnkey way to put underutilized space to work for the greater good.
Frequently Asked Questions
We provide you with a report on each hive, after every beekeeping visit. These reports include statistics on hive size and health, quantity of honey stores, and the presence of pests and pathogens. If you take advantage of our DNA analysis service, we will provide you with a detailed analysis of the different plant species your bees are pollinating, and the amount each contributes to your honey. The reports, and aggregate learnings across all of our hives, are testament to your commitment to promoting biodiversity and improving the health of the environment.
We stock our hives with Apis mellifera ligustica, a species of honeybee bred for docility, place them in low-traffic areas and service them with highly trained, locally certified professional beekeepers. Our beehives and beekeepers are fully insured for personal liability and damage. We can provide you with a certificate of insurance (COI) if needed.
It’s not essential that forage be immediately available to your bees, as they can travel as much as four miles to find food and water. That said, local sources of nourishment require less energy consumption for bees and make for healthier hives. Most of our clients add pollinator gardens, and rethink their landscaping, once their bees are established and have become an integral part of their corporate family. Pollinator gardens and pollinator friendly landscaping help to beautify your property, provide oases of calming nature for employees and tenants, and can improve your building’s LEED certification rating.
There are many creative ways we can work together to engage your stakeholders in beekeeping, and through beekeeping, in your company’s ESG initiatives. These include programs such as educational workshops, virtual hive tours, meet-your-beekeeper sessions, keynote speakers, branded hives, signs & honey, as well as events that feature pollinators and honey-based foods and beverages.
Hives can be installed in any low-traffic area, including rooftops, courtyards, gardens areas, and landscaped grounds. For healthier colonies, we usually place hives where they will get some morning sun, and be protected from high winds. All hive placements will comply with state and municipal requirements. For more information, read our hive placement informational guide.