Tanger Outlets National Harbor is helping pioneer the company’s new pollinator project, installing its own honeybee colony on the center’s rooftop this month. In partnership with Alvéole, a social beekeeping company, the shopping destination plans to engage the community as it rolls out a series of buzz-worthy opportunities for locals to get involved in the program.
The latest extension of Tanger Outlets’ commitment to environmental responsibility, this seasonal program integrates sustainability practices locally and highlights the importance of building back biodiversity within communities. Tanger National Harbor’s elevated, secluded habitat for its honeybees provides hives and homes for the country’s declining bee population, while offering opportunities for local shoppers to get involved in the effort. The initiative complements ongoing sustainability initiatives in place at Tanger National Harbor such as the 100% LED lighting project and Netlink energy management system, stormwater retention ponds and a recycling program for cardboard, paper, glass and plastic bottles.
The center will host educational bee workshops for retailers and shoppers, reinforcing the benefits of urban beekeeping and allowing everyone to play a role in the hive’s progress. Resident beekeeper Daniel Kerman will provide a hands-on, interactive experience designed to get shoppers sweet on honeybees and more connected to their environment. He will make regular visits to the center to maintain and care for the colonies, and shoppers will be able to follow along via social media.
During the summer months, thousands of Tanger Outlets National Harbor’s newest neighbors, a special honeybee breed selected for their docility, will pollinate the city's fauna and flora. Their daily quest is to collect nectar and pollen within a three-mile radius of the hive, bringing it back to ensure the colony’s development. At the height of the season, each hive will contain up to 50,000 honeybees – with approximately 90% worker bees (females) and 10% drones (males). Of course, each hive only contains one queen bee.
At the end of the season, the hardworking honeybees will have produced the equivalent of one hundred jars of hyperlocal, artisanal honey per urban apiary. Tanger Outlets National Harbor plans to harvest the honey to share with its neighbors.
“Sharing the city with our winged neighbors is a simple, natural way to positively impact the environment,” said Tanger Outlets National Harbor General Manager Juan Carlos. “We’re eager to share the buzzworthy details of upcoming workshops that will educate our shoppers, brands and community on the critical role honeybees play in our ecosystem.”
Since 2013, Alvéole has partnered with hundreds of companies, organizations and schools across North America on beekeeping projects, educating people about beekeeping, as well as shedding light on important issues related to industrial agriculture and climate change. According to the beekeeping company, each hive creates greater ecological awareness, allows city dwellers to reconnect with nature and adjusts their sense of responsibility towards the environment.
Shoppers can visit the bees' online profile at MyHive Tanger Outlets National Harbor to see how they're doing, discover their foraging range and check out photos, videos and upcoming beekeeper visit dates.