The “sweet” story behind Brightly Bees

3 minutes

The Bee-gining: 

It all started with a coffee chat between teammates halfway around the world. Heather (US) and Kristen (UK) signed up for our Random Coffee program, which pairs up employees at random to introduce colleagues that otherwise may have never crossed paths.    

When the two got to talking, they realized just how much they had in common. One topic stood out above all the rest: their love of sustainability and eco-friendly living. 

Heather: I told the story of how my husband and I keep a garden, but nothing was growing. Big plants but no fruits, so my husband had the idea to start keeping bees to pollinate. We got the bees 8 years ago and it’s been amazing. We enjoy the garden and educating ourselves. 

Kristen: I've been interested for a few years! I’ve always had a general sustainability interest – bees, butterflies, biodiversity and more.  

Heather and Kristen

Heather (left), Kristen (right) 


By the end of their call, Heather and Kristen left with a goal in mind: bring bees to every Brightly office around the globe! 

Heather: I talked to everyone who would listen. Talked to Kevin (CEO) on the bus on our trip to Costa Rica for Circle of Excellence, I pulsed employees around the organization and different departments – I talked to everyone.  We created a buzz around the idea and we are still buzzing.  

Kristen: It was easy to get people excited because we were excited ourselves. Hannah, my manager, was intrinsic - anything she could do to help she was there, the senior-level support was immediate! 

Bees announcement


“Buzzing” With Anticipation: 

Within two months of their coffee chat, Brightly Bees launched at our Cary, NC headquarters with a Bee Carnival sponsored by Bee Downtown. Employees got their first look at the Brightly beehives, planted wildflowers, took part in a honey tasting, and learned more about the importance of bees. To top it off, we held a competition to name the four new queen bees! Drum roll please. . . meet our queens: 


US: Bee-yonce & Obee-Wan Kenobee 
UK: Queen Eliza-bee-th & Bumbledore 


Buzzing with Anticipation
Honey Bee display


Welcome home: 

Hive installation day called for a celebration! With a new global initiative officially launched,  Heather and Kristen took a moment to reflect on the journey.  

Heather: It feels validating that people around the globe find this important and that it is a great corporate responsibility. It’s an amazing level of pride. It’s also great to see people overcome fears of bees in the process. 

Kristen: The support for this program blew me away. I have never worked for a company where I could even entertain this and I am honored that an idea we have has grown into this. 


UK Beehives:
UK Beehive


US Beehives:  
US Beehive


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Looking to the Future: 

As the seasons change in the southern hemisphere, we look forward to installing beehives at our Melbourne, Australia office. What's next. . . global domination?  

Heather: Our goal is to put hives in every Brightly office once their spring season comes. We can use bees for education and development at Brightly - what lessons from nature can we incorporate into our hierarchy and organization?  

Kristen: It's not a one off or one and done - we can really grow with this. 

Well done, Heather & Kristen! And a special thank you to our partners in beekeeping for helping us bring Brightly Bees to life: Bee Downtown (US) & Bee 1 (UK)


Bee-hind the scenes

Curious about the Brightly branding? Check out how our beehives were designed from start to finish below:

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