LANSING, Mich. — BIGGBY® COFFEE is buzzing with excitement over their celebration of World Bee Day on Monday, May 20. In honor of their April and May honey promotions, BIGGBY® COFFEE is taking time to educate themselves and their customers on this natural resource and the insects that produce it.
As BIGGBY® COFFEE begins to make a concerted effort to consider their impact on the environment and make more healthful initiatives, they feel that taking this step to educate themselves and their communities on the benefits of honey and honey bees is a step in the right direction! As the honey bee population decreases, BIGGBY® COFFEE feels that now is the perfect time to call attention to this natural resource and these small critters that play a huge part in producing much of our food including apples, cranberries, melons, broccoli, almonds, and more (American Bee Keeping Federation 2018).
As BIGGBY® COFFEE partnered with the National Honey Board throughout April and May to provide thoughtful honey products and information to their customers, they’re excited to announce a new donation opportunity in their stores! On World Bee Day, May 20, BIGGBY® COFFEE will be giving out seed packets to customers when they make a donation to the National Honey Board. Once planted, these seeds will grow a flower that can be used for pollination purposes and help rebuild the bee population.
BIGGBY® COFFEE is especially excited for this promotion as they have multiple store owner/operators that keep bees. Making an effort to help these store owner/operators build a life they love through the promotion and education of honey bees is important to BIGGBY® COFFEE.
One owner/operator is Mark Dykema. Dykema owns four BIGGBY® COFFEE locations throughout Holland and Zeeland, Michigan. When Dykema and his family started a garden in 2014, they were producing zucchini that only grew to be a few inches long. After scratching his head and doing some research, Dykema found that the problem was that his zucchini was not being pollinated. A few weeks later he and his family began beekeeping!
Since then, his family has gained and run about 40 hives throughout West Michigan. While his children, 10 and 4, are a bit too young to help with the bees right now, he enjoys being able the educate them on the benefits of bees and beekeeping along with the rest of his community.
“I am fortunate to not only educate many people about bees, which I love doing,” Dykema said, “but I also get the health benefits of backyard honey, and the fun of being known as the ‘Bee Man’ as well as the ‘[B] Man.’”
Dykema noted that some of the benefits of keeping bees is pollinating his and his neighbors’ gardens, educating community members, and sourcing really local honey. As he has come to be known as the “Bee Man” in his community, he has people reach out to his stores if they have a swarm of bees near them and he is happy to go and recover the bees. Through this, Dykema is able to get to know his customers better and really make an impact in his communities.
BIGGBY® COFFEE prides themselves on helping to support people in building a life they love and enjoys seeing Dykema’s passions collide in this way.
After seeing Dykema’s success and enjoyment of the process, BIGGBY® COFFEE owner/operator Randy Neelis decided to also keep bees. Neelis owns stores in Albion and Jackson, Michigan. He’s excited to see BIGGBY® COFFEE take these steps to start promoting and protecting bee health. Neelis noted that there are so many benefits of beekeeping—increasing food supply, reducing allergies, and being good for the environment are just a few. Going on his fourth season keeping bees, Neelis also noted that he’s enjoyed beginning able to connect with a new community of beekeepers in his area.
Through this promotion and the offer of free seed packets with a donation, BIGGBY® COFFEE is hoping to get their customers outside with their families, planting flowers and enjoying the communities BIGGBY® COFFEE loves so much!
If your family is interested in more information about how to help honey bees, Dykema suggests: “The best way, in my opinion, to protect the bees is to put a colony or two in your own backyard and begin to understand how your ecosystem is helping or hurting bees so you can make changes locally.” Dykema added, “If I can do it, you can easily do it!”
For more information on limited time honey offers throughout the months of April and May visit your local BIGGBY® COFFEE.
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