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2013 was the year that NPR out-NPRed itself. The news organization joined the forefront of the urban gardening movement by installing two hives and 20,000 European honey bees on its rooftop in May.
The bees serve no obvious purpose. The hives won’t produce honey until next year (and whatever honey is created will be split with the bees’ caretaker); employees don’t have access to the bees; and the organization isn’t seeking the tax credit available to those with green roofs. But with colony collapse disorder still an environmental cause célèbre, the public radio bees enhance the station’s liberal cred. As Maury Schlesinger, NPR’s director of real estate and administrative services, put it, “It’s very NPRness.”