This is post is part of the Reporter's Notebook blog.
Texas Roadhouse Inc.’s support center on the east side of Louisville, Ky., has become a literal hive of activity.
A week ago, the casual-dining chain hired local beekeepers to install two hives at a pond near the support center.
“These hives are a small step toward helping our community rebuild the local bee population,” said Scott Colosi, Texas Roadhouse president, in a letter to employees. “We also hope to inspire other companies or individuals to do the same.”
Travis Doster, a spokesman for Texas Roadhouse, said the company paid the beekeepers to install and maintain the hives.
“As long as the bees do their job, we plan share with our employees in the support center,” Doster said in answer to emailed questions. “The main purpose of this is to help re-populate the local bee community.”
Texas Roadhouse will not use the honey in its restaurants, even though each unit uses about 2,000 pounds of the product each year for the brand’s signature honey-cinnamon butter.
Colosi assured employees that urban hives are safe. “We have placed a sign near the hives so people won’t disturb the bees while they are working,” he wrote in the letter.
“What you may not realize is that disease, pesticides and urban sprawl have decimated the [Kentucky] Commonwealth’s (and the nation’s) bee population, which is vital to all agriculture,” Colosi explained, in telling workers about the hives.
Doster said that at least one Texas Roadhouse restaurant has already inquired about putting a hive on its roof.
Texas Roadhouse has more than 485 restaurants in 49 states and four other countries.