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Ekibees: EKINOPS turns its rooftop into a refuge for bees

Here at Ekinops, we celebrate the diverse interests and passions of our employees. So when Damien Germain, Hardware Development Engineer at Ekinops, decided to turn the rooftop of our Lannion office into a refuge for bees, the team embraced the idea with open arms.

From the coffee machine to the rooftop

Passionate about nature, Damien had already installed about fifteen beehives at home, when in spring 2019, he had the clever idea of bringing his passion to work. After bringing up the idea with his colleagues during daily chats at the coffee machine, they were immediately keen.

With the city of Paris counting over 2,000 rooftop hives, amateur beekeeping is booming in France. Fueled by the ongoing media coverage of the decline in bees and their crucial role in supporting our ecosystems, the country’s enthusiasm for beekeeping is a great example of small individual actions making a positive collective impact.

Busy bees and budding beekeepers

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It didn’t take long, then, for the management team to get on board and fully support the idea. The company decided to sponsor the installation of three populated beehives, as well as the annual maintenance costs.

No sooner said than done, Damien brought together about 30 colleagues to kickstart the project and by August 2019, the three populated beehives were placed on the rooftop of EKINOPS Lannion.

Since then, Damien has taken charge of managing the hives and has organized various themed activities around the bees, creating new budding beekeepers among his colleagues.

Honey harvests

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Despite the global pandemic and a period where Damien was unable to visit the hives during the country’s lockdown, the bees remained in very good health and in August 2020, the team was able to harvest the first honey batch.

Damien and two of his colleagues, all kitted up with protective gear provided by Ekinops, collected the honey-soaked frames from the nests. After a spin in a centrifuge, which separates the liquids, and a dip in the maturator, a tank used to decant the honey, the first EKINOPS honey was a reality. And the yield? 13.5Kg of honey, which was distributed to the whole EKINOPS Lannion team in 67 small jars.

A hope for the future

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Damien’s initiative is now part of the IS0 14001 environmental management standard, which encourages awareness of and proactive engagement with environmental challenges. The beekeeping project cuts to the heart of the Ekinops’ dedication to promote efficiency and sustainability, in daily office life and of course, in the design and production of its solutions.

With the project up and running, Damien now plans to pass the torch to his colleagues so that they can take ownership of the project, and he hopes to soon see beehives buzzing on all the rooftops of EKINOPS offices around the world.

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