GSA Announces New Pollinator Initiative
June 22, 2022
WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) announced its new Pollinator Initiative that supports the federal government's commitment to protect pollinators. Saving bees and other pollinators from the risks they face is an important part of a sustainable future because pollinators 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 habitat 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 data-driven yearlong pilot that aims to identify location-based best practices in landscaping and planning for pollinators. The GSA pilot will inform a more efficient and effective design policy to create and maintain habitats that can be modeled by other federal agency partners, builders, and property managers.
"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. 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.
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 GSA.gov and follow us at @USGSA.