Photo/Illutration A beehive box placed on Akitaya Honten Co.’s office building in Gifu (Fumiko Takaki)

GIFU--A beekeeping equipment supplier here is creating a buzz with a new business helping companies go green through raising honeybees.

Akitaya Honten Co. says the bees can contribute to sustainable development goals (SDGs) by pollinating plants, eventually boosting the greenery in surrounding areas.

“Companies have devised ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions,” said Akitaya Honten President Genjiro Nakamura, 69. “We hope they use beekeeping to increase greenery in their areas and reinforce their efforts.”

In February, the company started selling a starter kit for corporate customers for 1.18 million yen ($10,800), which includes a swarm of honeybees, 44 pieces of equipment including a hive box and training and accommodation fees for two employees.

The training session is held for a total of five days in spring and autumn in Gifu Prefecture. Participants can learn the basics of beekeeping, techniques to help the swarm survive through the winter months and other skills.

Akitaya Honten’s beekeeping kit includes a hive box and a centrifuge to extract honey. (Provided by Akitaya Honten)

In Japan, modern beekeeping is believed to have originated in Gifu Prefecture.

A long-established wholesaler that has been in the beekeeping business since 1887, Akitaya Honten has been selling equipment to amateur apiarists for more than 30 years.

It is said that honeybees help pollinate plants within a two- to three-kilometer radius from their colonies. In recent years, beekeeping has been practiced in Tokyo's ritzy Ginza district and Osaka's Umeda downtown area.

There is a growing sense of environmental awareness among companies, particularly after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Beehive boxes can be placed on building rooftops and in vacant lots of factories and warehouses, as well as at automotive test tracks, to name a few. While there is no need to feed honeybees or clean their droppings every day, a weekly check on the beehive can help facilitate exchanges among employees, according to Akitaya Honten.

In the first year, the company intends to introduce the business to 50 companies, mainly in the Tokai region, which is a manufacturing hub, with an aim to expand the service nationwide.

For inquiries, visit the official website at (