Preserving urban biodiversity by raising awareness among our employees

News - 1/21/2019

By teaching 850 employees in Paris about beekeeping, we are seeking to play our part in nurturing biodiversity in urban environments.

Preserving biodiversity is considered one of the keys to sustainable development. The extinction of species is very often the most visible sign that biodiversity is being eroded. In Europe, it is estimated that the populations of 42% of land-based animals and plants have declined over the past decade.80% of the flying insect population has vanished in the space of 30 years

80% of the flying insect population has vanished in the space of 30 years

One of the most endangered species is bees, which play a vital role in plant reproduction. Bees ensure balance in ecosystems and agriculture through their central role in the pollination process, particularly for vines and fruit trees. Eighty percent of the world’s flowering plants rely on pollination. Today, they are in grave danger, with crop protection products, climate change, urban development and a lack of crop biodiversity having led to the loss of 100,000 hives in France in the last 20 years.

To stave off this threat, the Edmond de Rothschild Group is committed to playing its part in nurturing biodiversity in urban areas, in collaboration with environmental consultancy firm Ekodev. Since 2012, four hives have been installed in the immediate surrounds of one of our Paris buildings.

140,000 bees now benefit from the city's flower and plant diversity

In addition, we have set up two insect hotels in the bank’s gardens in Paris. These structures attract insects and arachnids, which, as pollinators and as predators of parasites and pests, help bees survive in winter. In summer, species such as mason bees use the hotels to lay their eggs. Birdhouses and feeders have also been installed to provide food and shelter to wildlife useful to gardens.

Through these actions and the multiple hives set up on various Group sites in France (Paris, Trente Arpents farm, Château Clarke, Mont d’Arbois estate), as well as in Switzerland, South Africa, Israel and Cameroon, our honey production has increased from just a few kilograms five years ago to 675 kg in 2018.