Ballantyne Is Buzzing

Sustainability efforts include an apiary

By Jodi Werner Greenwald | Photos by Raymond J Photography

Robert Suydam’s free time is abuzz. The finance senior consultant at Wells Fargo spends many nights and weekends managing four different apiaries around town. His latest one is in Ballantyne’s Backyard, the new community park Northwood Office created on the former golf course.

Suydam, a Charlotte native and Madison Park resident, has been a fixture at area gardens and Boy Scout meetings for decades. Six years ago, he started exploring beekeeping as a hobby. He also wanted to combat the plight of the pollinators, which he learned about from his involvement with South Park Christian Community Garden and Avondale Presbyterian Community Garden.

Northwood Office brought bees to Ballantyne’s Backyard in May 2021 as part of the company’s overall sustainability efforts. Northwood’s sustainability director, Paul Cattieu, found Suydam through the Mecklenburg County Beekeepers Association. A certified beekeeper, Suydam sits on the executive team for the MCBA and has been a mentor for its Bee School for the past four years.

“What better way to showcase sustainability than to dedicate a space for honeybees,” says Cattieu. “Teaming up with Robert has been a win-win all around and only exemplifies our efforts and commitment to green space.”

In July, Suydam spoke with Ballantyne Magazine at the Ballantyne Apiary as he was pulling supers, or boxes holding the frames where the bees store honey. (See p.33 for more bee vocabulary.)