While Courvoisier name is synonymous with our legendary Cognac, Beam Suntory employees in France are putting the name on bee hives as well.
Through a partnership with "Un Toit for les Abeilles," or "A Roof for the Bees," Courvoisier is sponsoring two fields of wildflowers and four bee hives with corporate and employee donations. The total program protects more than 85 million bees in France and Belgium, with nearly 1,400 hives. Courvoisier is one of 462 companies participating in the program, along with nearly 10,000 individuals.
Honey bee populations have long been on the decline in the U.S., in Europe, and around the world for a variety of reasons, including climate change, pesticide use, and invasive species. As pollinators, bees play a critical role to the global food supply chain, and threats to their survival have implications on a variety of food sources, from guacamole to buckwheat pancakes.
Four years ago, Courvoisier General Manager Patrice Pinet was contacted about sponsoring two bee hives and two nearby fields of flowers, so as to protect a nearby food source from pesticide use.
"This was a program that made perfect sense for Courvoisier, and we're so happy to be involved," Patrice said. "It's so fitting for Courvoisier, as the cognac of Napoleon, to help save the bees."
Bees were one of Napoleon's emblem, often wearing them on his clothing, as a symbol of hard work and perfect organization.
After two successful years of sponsorship, the program was expended to employees to make pre-tax donations. Courvoisier doubled the number of hives protected to four, thanks to 20 employees who each contribute monthly. In addition to protecting the local bee population, they’re also getting back jars of “Courvoisier Honey.”
"It's been a fulfilling program for us," said Patrice. "I hope we will develop this engagement in the future in Courvoisier and may be in other facilities around the world if such a potential partnership exists as 'Un Toit Pour les Abeilles' does in France."