In Jefferson County, the Rockwool plant has been a touchy subject for many, with opponents saying the plant will bring adverse effects to residents both big and small.
As a beekeeper and the owner of Eversweet Apiaries, Jennifer King says that honey bees in the area already face a multitude of issues including pesticides, mites and even a lack of food. But with the coming of Rockwool’s new facility, the bees might also have to face factory emissions.
“It masks floral trails to the flowers. And bees have an acute sense of smell, and they rely heavily on that to be able to find these flowers. And so the pollution interferes with these trails, and so the bees cannot find flowers easily. And it takes them longer to forage,” said King.
According to King, bees only have a lifespan of about six weeks, and that these emissions will cause the bees to overwork themselves. However, according to Rockwool’s VP of corporate communications, the facility will strictly adhere to limits set by the EPA and Sierra Club.
“And that’s why we’re as confident as we are that there won’t be any negative health or environmental consequences as a result of the facility’s operations,” said Michael Zarin of Rockwool.
Except those regulations mainly keep in mind the young, old and asthmatic, not so much the resident honey bees. But Zarin says this facility will be using newer odor-control technology, similar to their factories in Mississippi and Denmark.
But for King, the effects on bees will need to be studied over a period of time.