These days, everyone is fighting for marketing space by creating “buzz” around his or her service or product. When it comes to vehicle manufacturers, it’s no different. From developing the most high-tech features to the sleekest designs, automakers are vying for your attention, but for the Ford Motor Company, the “buzz” this time isn’t around its impressive line-up of vehicles, it’s around bees.
Last summer, Ford expanded its honeybee initiative with six new honeybee hives at the company’s Dearborn World Headquarters. The initiative supports honeybee populations, local ecosystems, gardening and farming communities. The project roll-out at the Dearborn campus, expanded Ford’s efforts, which originated back in 2003 at its Ford Rouge Complex. The Ford Rouge Complex is now home to more than 80,000 honeybees.
Ford designers were put to the challenge to create an aesthetically pleasing and functional home for the bees. Chris Westfall, a vehicle interior designer, was chosen as the competition’s winner with his “Honeycomb Sail” concept. The six hives have a potential of inhabiting 60,000 bees per hive by the peak of summer. Ford’s own beekeepers will provide data on the nearly 360,000 bees that are expected to build colonies within the new honeycomb sails.
Bees play a vital role in the production of crops grown right here in Michigan and around the world. Cherries, blueberries, apples and even broccoli rely heavily on their existence.
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