The Buzz on Beekeeping at our Glasgow, VA Manufacturing Facility
Nestled between the intersection of the Maury and the James Rivers, right in the middle of the Jefferson National Forest, sits the roughly 1,000-resident population town of Glasgow, VA.
Hot, humid summers and a subtropical climate serve as the perfect environment for valuable honeybees to pollinate the local area. These are the same fascinating, dutiful insects that captured Junie Snider’s imagination 25 years ago from his family’s front porch.
Junie is the resident Tufting Department Manager at Mohawk Group’s Glasgow plant, who in addition to working for Mohawk for 32 years, has served as the MoHoney initiative beekeeper since April 2016. His longtime love and appreciation of “pollinators” started innocuously enough in the early 90’s when a swarm of bees landed in a maple tree beside his family home:
“We called the local beekeeper and he came to get them and put them in a box- it was amazing,” Junie fondly recalls.
“I talked to him for a little while, and he asked me if I would like to help him and I agreed. From that point, I’ve been beekeeping for the last 25 years.”
Now, Junie considers beekeeping not only a passion but his civic duty to the community of Virginia.
While many may not be surprised to learn that bees are the single largest pollinator on the planet, most may not realize that bees are responsible for one out of every three bites of food eaten.
Long praised as a model of sustainability thanks to investments in energy efficiency, our Glasgow carpet manufacturing facility is also doing its part to keep honey bees thriving –due in no small part to sustainability heroes like Junie Snider:
“When I was approached by Mohawk to be a beekeeper here on site, I thought it was a great idea,” Snider says.
“Without the support of industries such as Mohawk and efforts like this, I think that we would have to come up with some alternative way to pollinate and I’m not sure what that would be.”
The MoHoney initiative is currently comprised of 8 healthy hives situated at the edge of the Glasgow property. In addition to initially helping set up the hives, Snider serves as on-site beekeeper and recently led the first honey harvest.
Snider estimates each hive contains 100,000 or more bees, thus housing a total of approximately 1 million bees – enough to pollinate the entire Glasgow surrounding area and supplying honey to local Mohawk employees and visitors.
MoHoney even features sustainable packaging made from recycled materials, with Black-eye Susan wildflower seeds embedded inside each box so that it can be planted in the ground to grow more flowers and support the survival of pollinators, both domestic and wild.
Our Glasgow, VA manufacturing facility is a Certified Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation thanks to Mohawk’s efforts surrounding the protection and proliferation of all pollinators.
“I’m really glad that Mohawk has decided to help the honeybees and be good stewards of our environment,” Snider continues.
“It’s become second-nature to me to be messing with bees and I really enjoy doing it for Mohawk. I appreciate that they gave me the opportunity and I’ve had a lot of fun doing so.”
Watch Mohawk Group Sustainability Hero Junie Snider of Glasgow, VA give a behind-the-scenes look at his role as an on-site MoHoney beekeeper:
Learn more about our sustainability initiatives in our annual Sustainability Report at http://mohawksustainability.com