World Bee Day illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

World Bee Day × Lamborghini

May 20, World Bee Day: Since 2016 Lamborghini has worked with bees in an environmental biomonitoring project

On the occasion of World Bee Day on May 20, established by the UN in 2017, Automobili Lamborghini underscores its commitment to safeguarding the environment. In 2016 the company launched an environmental biomonitoring project with the installation of an apiary in the Lamborghini Park in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Over the years, the apiary has grown from a total of eight hives to the current twelve, with a population of about 600,000 bees of which 120,000 forage around the territory.

In addition, thanks to the Audi Foundation, from this year the Lamborghini apiary benefits from the presence of a “technological beehive”. Two video cameras, one inside and one outside the hive, make it possible to observe the behavior of the insects close up, providing more detailed data to the studies being conducted.  

From the analyses of the hive matrices (honey, wax and the bees themselves), the company in collaboration with entomological and apicultural experts, can detect a wide range of environmental pollutants: pesticides used in agriculture and on urban and private green spaces, heavy metals, aromatic compounds, dioxins and many others. This analysis is instrumental in controlling pollution in the environment surrounding the production plant and the inhabited area of Sant’Agata Bolognese, thanks to the wide “foraging” of the bees, i.e., their flight to collect nectar and pollen, within a radius of approximately 3 km.

The project undertaken by Automobili Lamborghini has recently been further enriched by an experimental study for biomonitoring of solitary bee colonies. Solitary bees differ from social bees for their shorter foraging radius (200 meters) and because each female takes care of her own offspring, unlike social bees which only take care of the queen bee’s offspring. The colonies, made up of reed houses located inside Lamborghini Park and near the production site, make it possible to monitor more specific areas, thanks to the shorter foraging radius, and to collect even more effective data for studying the environmental impact of the site.

The bee biomonitoring project is part of a broader environmental sustainability strategy that Lamborghini has been pursuing since 2009 and that led the company to be awarded certification as a CO2 neutral company in 2015, which has been maintained even following the recent doubling of the production site.

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