The Wynnewood location of Whole Foods Market®, the leading natural and organic food retailer, is joining forces with their Store Team Leader, Adam Squire, who is a local bee keeper, to install a bee hive on the store’s rooftop. This special initiative will build awareness regarding the massive declines in the honey bee population.

In 2006, North American beekeepers found that in certain colonies, adult bees suddenly vanished. As more than 100 types of crops in the US are pollinated by bees, a movement focused international attention on honey bee populations. In their efforts to support honey bees, Whole Foods Market® throughout the country has teamed up with the Xerces Society, a national nonprofit organization that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.

“Bees pollinate a third of our diet, yet they’re literally vanishing from their hives,” says Kristin Gross, marketing director for Whole Foods Market’s® Mid-Atlantic region. “Many people have no idea that honey bees play an essential role in our agricultural system. By raising awareness of the issue we hope to motivate people to take action and share many ways they can be a part of the solution.”

The bees in this hive are Italians, a race of bees’ known for their gentleness and prolific brood development. They are currently in an outyard in Mt. Airy, Philadelphia, and will be moved to the Whole Foods Market rooftop in Wynnewood any day.  The honey harvested from the hive will be used in the store for their annual Apples and Honey tasting this fall. 

“Every hive that is stewarded in an all-natural fashion, as we are doing, is a vote for a sustainable model, “says Squire, who has been a beekeeper for the past two years and with Whole Foods Market for eight.  “The focus is on supporting the vitality of the bees rather than exploiting them.”

Whole Foods Market Wynnewood has also partnered with Urban Tree Connection, a local nonprofit that engages individuals from some of Philadelphia's most disadvantaged neighborhoods in community-based, urban-greening projects, to support efforts to expand their community gardens in Haddington.  The store has backed the organization for more than eight years and will aid the nonprofit in adding three additional hives.

To celebrate the installation of the new bee hive, Whole Foods Market® Wynnewood is planning a Share the Buzz event on Monday, July 23, 2012.

For more information, videos and ways to support honey bees please visit: