We’ve buzzed about some sweet-like-honey initiatives of Birks lately – and for good reason.
To celebrate its 135th anniversary this year, the leading Canadian jeweler we know and love got behind the honey bee cause with an urban beehive and flower installation at their Montreal flagship store and by releasing several bee-themed collections.
What’s the honey bee cause? In each of the last six years, one-third of honey bee colonies have been lost in North America and Europe. There is nothing sweet about this news, as bees play a significant role in fruit and vegetable production. In turn, Birks is contributing to honey bee preservation by committing to the preservation of their endangered ecosystem.
We caught up with Eva Hartling (V.P Marketing and Communications for Birks) to find out a little more about these efforts…
Why did Birks decide to get involved with the cause?
It was the result of a conversation I had with CEO Jean-Christophe Bédos because we were both coming across a lot of articles on declining bee populations. We felt it wasn’t discussed as much in Canadian media as it is elsewhere. Him and I felt strongly about the cause and realized the opportunity to do something with it and our 135th anniversary. It was as good of a cause as any for Birks as it ties back to its Canadian nature. The focus on Canadian nature is part of the Birks DNA.
What do you like most about the bee-inspired collection?
It makes sense, above all, because the bee has inspired many jewellery and fashion creations. The collection represents the world of bees and the honeycomb patterns in the pieces. The collections help raise awareness about the issue and inspire a concrete action, and that is to give back to the Honey Bee Research Centre at the University of Guelph in Ontario. The collections have been well received, and it has only been a couple of weeks. The silver pendant has done exceptionally well. My favourite piece in the Birks Bee Chic collection is the long honeycomb ring in yellow gold, it really makes a statement.
How are your new beehives doing on the Birks roof?
So far, so good, they were just installed last week.
Can you tell us a little more about the flower installation by Topia?
The flower installation is designed to raise awareness for the cause because you can’t see our beehives from the street as they obviously need to be protected. It is essentially a statement to tell the larger story of urban beekeeping and that action is possible. We want to relay the message that more homes and organizations should get involved. Bees don’t have to go far to pollinate. It is easy for them to pollinate with nothing but a green roof and green spaces. That’s why local agriculture and urban beekeeping are essential to helping avoid colony collapse disorder. You’d be surprised to know that bees are actually happy in urban areas, possibly due to the lack of pesticides. All the flowers used in our installation are considered favourites of the honey bees. What’s more, the flowers have been selected in such a way that they will bloom at different times in the season, thereby guaranteeing food for the bees throughout the year.
A focus on the future is at the heart of the cause. What can we expect in the future from Birks?
We are going to stick with the cause – this isn’t a publicity stunt for us. It ties back to everything the brand stands for. With that said, we will introduce other bee-themed collections in the future and even introduce more designs in the collections in the upcoming months. You can expect things like honeycomb cufflinks. Furthermore, we will host other events that tie back to the cause.
Check out the collection for yourself. The three bee-inspired fine jewellery collections, called Birks Bee Chic, Birks Bee Sweet and Birks Busy Bee, feature various designs made with yellow gold, silver, gemstones and diamonds, and are available in Birks retail locations across the country.
Cover Image by: Carrie MacPherson