Each year, Burt’s Bees holds a Culture Day and this year, for their 11th annual event, they chose the Bee Informed Partnership to team with in their recommitment to their brand values and to reinforce the goals of working towards economically and environmentally sustainable products. This year’s event found over 400 Burt’s Bees and Clorox (Clorox purchased Burt’s Bees in 2007) employees building sampling kits and MiteCheck kits for BIP’s use over the next year. Although it took months of planning, the amount of work that 400 enthusiastic and energized folks can do in 1 day was remarkable. It usually takes our team about 4 months to sporadically build the sampling kits and these intensely choreographed (efficiency engineers were involved) groups were able to do it all in 1 day.
The event was held at the North Carolina Museum of Art, a beautiful venue with incredibly patient and cooperative staff. Because weather did not cooperate, much of the kit building took place inside but there was an enormous tent to hold all 400+ employees plus or BIP lab team to listen to the kickoff speakers (Jim Geikie, Burt’s Bees VP and General Manager, Dennis vanEngelsdorp, and Peter Nelson, a beekeeper and documentary filmmaker) and to construct the MiteCheck kits. We supplied a live colony (thanks to James Wilkes our IT lead at Appalachian State University and his Faith Mountain Farm). It was an exhausting but fulfilling day and everyone left with a greater appreciation of the commercial beekeeping industry and the challenges that lie ahead as we work towards BIP’s goal of reducing colony losses. We cannot thank everyone at Burt’s Bees enough. Their generosity and hospitality was extraordinary.