A family-run apiculture company has been assigned by two of the world’s biggest tech firms to install hives on their premises in Colorado.
Google and IBM asked Free Range Beehives – a Denver-based small enterprise which offers the installation and servicing of hives – to set up several alvearies at their estates in the city of Boulder.
Free Range Beehives is headed by CEO Mike Rosol. His son John Rosol acts as the firm’s vice president of operations. Their friend Dave Mathias is another founding member and current sales director of Free Range Beehives. His son Sam Mathias – who was also on board when the company was established – has chosen a different career path in the meantime.
John told the Denver Post: “We do still need to save the bees. In Colorado alone, managed hives lose 42 per cent of their colonies every single year, and that’s not a sustainable number.”
Free Range Beehives – which was founded in 2020 – currently looks after almost 70 hives all over the US State of Colorado.
John explained: “We put the bees at the site. We maintain them, we own them and the client gets to keep them as long as they want.”
Free Range Beehives currently has around 15 clients, including investment firm Starwood Capital Group and Weston, a company producing skis and snowboards.
Colorado is home to 946 native bee species, according to experts at Colorado State University. The vast majority are so-called wild bees or solitary bees.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture reports that there are currently 19 commercial beekeepers who manage an estimated 38,000 hives altogether.
Carrie Bendzsa – who is IBM America’s regional communications leader – said: “Our beehive investment in Colorado is part of IBM’s overall commitment to environmental sustainability. Pollinators play an important role in maintaining a diverse ecosystem and small efforts like these can have a truly meaningful impact on pollinator wellbeing.”