Bee Downtown with Ben Dictus (S3, E36)


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In today’s episode we talk with Ben Dictus, beekeeper for Bee Downtown. The good people in the Bee Downtown organization have taken bees and beekeeping to a new level of education, promotion and opportunity. They have combined beekeeping and leadership training, with business leaders and employees: Bee yards with corporate landscapes.

Ben manages about 150 colonies in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, working with the likes of corporations such as SAS, Delta Air, Burt’s Bees, Blue Cross to establish colonies on their corporate grounds. The hives are not hidden behind an outbuilding or the ‘back acreage’, rather, these companies like to place them in prominent spots. Employees often help paint and prep the woodenware in structured work parties. Bee Downtown supplies the hives, installs safety barriers, manages the bees for them to maintain health and stability, and holds informal events like hive tours, honey harvesting events, hive decorating sessions and discussions.

This has led to the development of the Bee Downtown Leadership Institute lead by retired Colonel Joe LeBoeuf, Professor Emeritus Duke University Fuqua School of Business. Using storytelling and other techniques, including biomimicry from their colonies, the BDT Leadership Institute team help attendees (re)establish team communication and trust, resulting in a workplace that’s more efficient and effective.

Listen today as Kim and Jeff talk with Ben about the bees he manages, Bee Downtown and how bee culture is taking corporate culture to the next level!

Links and websites mentioned in this podcast:


Thanks to Strong Microbials for their support of Beekeeping Today Podcast. Find out more about heir line of probiotics in our Season 3, Episode 12 episode and from their website:

This episode is brought to you by Global Patties! Global Patties is a family business that manufactures protein supplement patties for honey bees. Feeding your hives protein supplement patties will help ensure that they produce strong and health colonies by increasing brood production and overall honey flow. Global offers a variety of standard patties, as well as custom patties to meet your specific needs. Visit them today at and let them know you appreciate them sponsoring this episode!

We want to also thank 2 Million Blossoms as a sponsor of the podcast. 2 Million Blossoms is a quarterly magazine destined for your coffee table. Each page of the magazine is dedicated to the stories and photos of all pollinators and written by leading researchers, photographers and our very own, Kim Flottum.


We hope you enjoy this podcast and welcome your questions and comments:

Thanks to Bee Culture, the Magazine of American Beekeeping, for their support of The Beekeeping Today Podcast. Available in print and digital at

Thank you for listening!

Podcast music: Young Presidents, "Be Strong", Musicalman, "Epilogue"

Beekeeping Today Podcast is an audio production of Growing Planet Media, LLC