Bee Downtown plans to expand southeast after breaking out of the pandemic


A year ago, Leigh-Kathryn Bonner was afraid that a pandemic could sink her business, Bee Downtown. BeeDowntown manages beehives and conducts leadership training on Triangle and Atlanta’s corporate campus.

Workers were sent home and the campus was closed. Will the company cancel the contract with Bee Downtown to save money?

“There was a moment of panic,” Bonner said in a telephone interview with News & Observers.

But none of those companies canceled. And Bee Downtown focused on creating online activities that are popular with burnout employees, especially children stuck at home.

Today, Bee Downtown seems to have emerged from a pandemic in an even stronger position.

The company forecasts 50% revenue growth and will begin working with companies in cities other than Triangle and Atlanta for the first time in four years.

According to Bonner, Bee Downtown will expand to Charlotte this year. Richmond, Virginia; Washington DC and Tampa, Florida.

Already, Bee Downtown has installed the first urticaria on top of the Richmond Suntrust Building. And Charlotte’s two companies have already signed up with Bee Downtown.

Initially, the expansion was scheduled for last year, but Bonner suspended those plans due to a pandemic.

“First and foremost, being a good beekeeper for bees is our priority,” she said. “I think we understand that, and we are ready to start expanding.”

Bees cover the frame of the hive maintained by Bee Downtown, founded by Leakath Limbonner, during a hive check at Panther Creek Farm in Durham, North Carolina.

Bees cover the frame of the hive maintained by Bee Downtown, founded by Leakath Limbonner, during a hive check at Panther Creek Farm in Durham, North Carolina.

Bee corridor

Bee Downtown Some of the largest employers in Triangle and Atlanta.. Urticaria can be found on Chick-fil-A, Delta, SAS, and IBM campuses.In the triangle, hive Created a 60-mile corridor For bees that stretch from Garner to Chapel Hill.

Bonner believes that Bee Downtown’s growth comes from face-to-face and leadership activities offered to employers.

Many of these activities have been forced online by the pandemic, but have been successful, Bonner said.

“Thanks to virtual programming, we were actually able to share programming with more employees than before,” she said.

However, after the number of cases of coronavirus has decreased, the company still wants to launch a leadership institute directly.

BeeDowntown founder and CEO Leigh-Kathryn Bonner looks for a queen bee during a hive check at Panther Creek Farm in Durham, North Carolina, Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

BeeDowntown founder and CEO Leigh-Kathryn Bonner looks for a queen bee during a hive check at Panther Creek Farm in Durham, North Carolina, Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

As Bee Downtown expanded, the company said interest had grown more than ever. This spring, we just installed a birdhouse on a building owned by Kane Realty in North Hills.

Bonner said he believes companies are interested because he knows that people in the post-pandemic world will need more equipment and reasons to come to the office.

“Companies are looking for something that is creative, fun and engaging for people,” she said. “The bees do that. And we haven’t added work to anyone’s plate. We do.”

The story was created as part of an independent journalism fellowship program with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh. N & O maintains full editorial control of the work. learn more; go to bit.ly/newsinnovate