Driving Innovation

ComEd right-of-way doubles as a pollinator’s paradise

June 24, 2021

To help preserve pollinators, ComEd is installing two beehives in a right-of-way in Des Plaines, Ill. This is the second year ComEd is building honeybee habitats in honor of Pollinator Week.

It gets sweeter! ComEd will donate the honey to a local food pantry for families in need. 

A time-lapse of the whole process

For 26 years, ComEd has been transforming rights-of-way, the corridor where transmission towers or distribution poles are located. From spreading more than two million milkweed seeds to planting hundreds of acres of native prairie plants – ComEd is enhancing these habitats to benefit populations of declining pollinator species.

In December 2020, ComEd applied for a Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the monarch butterfly. Under its CCAA, the energy company pledges to convert more than 11,700 acres of rights-of-way to pollinator habitats to protect the monarch, which is significantly threatened.

ComEd’s pollinator support extends beyond transmission and distribution corridors.

The company also supports pollinator projects through its Green Region grant program, which, since 2012, has funded the planning, acquisition, and improvement of local parks, natural areas, and recreation resources across northern Illinois.

Bees buzzin' through a right-of-way in Des Plaines, Ill., have a new place to
call home. ComEd is installing two beehives to help preserve honeybee habitats.

In 2017, the grant program began to focus on projects that help pollinators like butterflies and bees. Since then, ComEd has awarded nearly $360,000 in grants to 43 pollinator projects across the areas ComEd serves.

For more information about Pollinator Week, including how to get involved, visit pollinator.org.

After all, three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of global food crops depend of animal pollinators to thrive.