“On the main drag of sunny Santa Barbara, California, four blocks from the Pacific Ocean, sits the three-story headquarters of Invoca, an artificial-intelligence software company. Like many offices, the building has been empty since March, when Invoca sent employees home to shelter from Covid-19.
Well, not quite empty.
For amidst the building’s abandoned desks and silent phones, 20,000 honey bees were hard at work, building a hive filled with 10 gallons’ worth of honey, beeswax, and pollen, as Invoca’s leadership learned in January, much to their surprise.
‘We were talking a lot as an executive team about how and when to bring people back to the office and how to make sure it’s safe,’ says Dee Anna McPherson, Invoca’s chief marketing officer. ‘It never occurred to me to think of bees.’