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GSA announces Chicago area facilities as part of new 'Pollinator Initiative'

Medium shot of property manager Josh Westhouse and Rich Falzone outside the new bee hive enclosure
Property Manager Josh Westhouse and Supervisory Property Manager Rich Falzone standing outside the new bee hive enclosure as workers complete installation at the U.S. Courthouse, Hammond, Indiana.

CHICAGO – Today, the U.S. General Services Administration announced its new "Pollinator Initiative" that supports the federal government’s commitment to protect pollinators near federal facilities, including the Federal Archives and Records Center in Chicago and the U.S. Courthouse in Hammond, Indiana.

Saving bees and other pollinators from the risks they face is an important part of a sustainable future because they are critical to agriculture and food production – contributing to the national economy by more than $20 billion each year. This is just the latest step in GSA’s agency-wide commitment to advancing sustainability and confronting climate change.

GSA has established policies and practices to support pollinator habitats through the design, construction and maintenance of federal properties nationwide. In support of these efforts, GSA has installed honeybee hives at 11 GSA facilities across the country as part of a yearlong pilot.

The project seeks to enable GSA to lead by example and create a more efficient and effective design policy that can be modeled by other federal agency partners, builders and property managers.

GSA installed the hives at the Hammond U.S. Courthouse in April and at the Federal Archives and Records Center in May. The program offers neighboring communities an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the honeybees.

“By using data-producing honey bee hives at GSA-controlled facilities to help inform updates to these directives and policies, we can promote sustainability and enhance urban habitats,” said GSA Administrator Robin Carnahan. “I look forward to how this pilot can uncover new strategies to help promote the health of our local pollinators and to set the foundation for other GSA facilities to expand placement locations and integrate into their sustainability efforts.”

GSA’s Center for Urban Development is managing the pilot program through its Good Neighbor Program with a contract awarded to The Best Bees Company, a major U.S. beekeeping service. The Best Bees Company will maintain the hives over the course of a year, analyze honey production from each hive, and identify the plants and landscapes that are specifically beneficial to local pollinators. This information is expected to help guide GSA’s future pollinator-friendly landscape design and maintenance policies and practices.

Learn more by joining our webinar with The Best Bees Company on June 22 at


About GSA: GSA provides centralized procurement and shared services for the federal government, managing a nationwide real estate portfolio of nearly 370 million rentable square feet, overseeing approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, and delivering technology services that serve millions of people across dozens of federal agencies. GSA’s mission is to deliver the best customer experience and value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and the American people. For more information, visit and follow us at @USGSA.