Beekeepers have harvested some 80 kilograms of flower honey from beehives located at the Spolana site. The harvest is bigger than last year’s. The Spolana honey not only meets all the norms according to the Czech Bee Research Institute’s expert tests, but it also regularly wins the top-quality gold medal in the Czech Honey competition. At the same time, its quality is a reliable indicator of how clean the environment is on-site and in its vicinity. The beekeeping project has been running for five years at Spolana. This year’s honey harvest was attended by pupils from the primary school in Kostelec nad Labem who thus received an untraditional form of instruction. Experienced beekeepers showed them the entire process, from honey collection to the final bottling.
The honey harvest at Spolana is the golden peak of the year-long efforts of local beekeepers. Frames with honey are taken out of the beehives, then the honey itself is extracted by means of a honey extractor, and finally the product is bottled. “Successful beekeeping shows that the environment at the Spolana chemical plant is improving each year. This is also attested to by the fact that the honey collected along the Elbe annually wins a gold medal in the Czech Honey competition. I hope that this will also be the case this year, but we will learn the results only in the autumn. The significance of bees is not only related to producing honey and other substances. Bees also pollinate agricultural crops and free-growing vegetation, and the quality of honey speaks to the quality of the environment not only at the site, but also in its immediate vicinity,” says Spolana executive officer Miroslav Falta, commenting on the positive impacts of beekeeping. He adds that the company uses the resulting jars of honey mostly as presents for corporate partners and business visitors.
Thanks to the Elbe River, there is diverse fauna and flora in the vicinity of Spolana Neratovice. The idea to keep honeybees at the location of the site’s original chocolate and saccharine production facility was quickly adopted in 2018. “Now we take care of ten bee colonies, and, compared to last year, this year’s harvest was significantly better – the vegetation close to the beehives is thriving in the fine, sunny weather. We harvested more than 80 kilograms of honey, and this only from some colonies, which is 20 kilograms more than last year,” beams Lukáš Karlík, head of power engineering and water management at Spolana and enthusiastic beekeeper.
Each year, the honey harvest is attended by children from primary schools in the vicinity. This year, the company invited pupils from the primary school in Kostelec nad Labem and provided them with information about the environment by means of an untraditional experience. The children were able to paint the boxes that the beekeepers then use to assemble a beehive. Along with the beekeepers, the Kralupy nad Vltavou Ecological Centre also prepared a programme for the pupils. “Children made a queen-bee mask and tried to correctly put together the individual parts of a bee’s body. They were also able to make flower-pot sticks and beeswax candles. They were rewarded with workbooks on topics from the life of bees,” says Ecological Centre head Martina Černá in conclusion.
SPOLANA a.s. is one of the largest chemical manufacturing companies in the Czech Republic. The only manufacturer of PVC and caprolactam also produces ammonium sulphate and sulphuric acid. It currently employs over 700 people. Spolana has been owned by the ORLEN Unipetrol Group since 2016. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refining and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and production, distributing and selling fuels and petrochemical products – mainly plastics and fertilisers. It is one of the major players in the Czech and Central European markets in all these areas. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group includes refineries and production plants in Litvínov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo in Pardubice, Spolana in Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvínov and Brno. ORLEN Unipetrol also includes the Benzina ORLEN network in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. With 424 outlets, Benzina ORLEN is the largest chain in the Czech Republic; with 23 outlets, it has been the fastest growing chain in Slovakia since 2019. ORLEN Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic in terms of turnover. It employs nearly 5,000 people. In addition to its business development, ORLEN Unipetrol is proud to be a socially responsible corporation. Therefore, it pays equal attention to initiatives focusing on cultivating and supporting sustainable development, education, local communities, and the environment. In 2005, ORLEN Unipetrol became part of the PKN Orlen Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe.