Corporate Responsibility

Bee-ing a good steward of the environment

Staff Reports

Williams always strives to be a good steward of the environment, no matter where we are working or what is buzzing about.

Last summer, a project contractor on our North Seattle Lateral project in Washington felled a mature cedar tree to make room for a new facility that allows Williams to conduct safety inspections inside the pipe. This particular tree had a split trunk about 20 feet up from its base, which had formed a hollow void in the center, likely over many decades.

Beekeepers work to rescue a colony of more than 250,000 honeybees from a tree felled along the North Seattle Lateral right of way.

When the tree was cut and hit the ground, it split open revealing the hollow void and what proved to be a very large colony of honeybees. Despite there being no specific permit requirements to preserve the colony, our environmental inspector and company employees felt it was our responsibility to do the right thing.

Upon finding a beekeeper to rescue the queen, he was so interested that he was willing to drop his and his 87-year-old grandfather’s (also a beekeeper) plans for the weekend. They arrived mid-afternoon on a Saturday and spent the weekend until 8:30 p.m. Sunday when they had finally successfully located the queen and transferred her to the new hive for transport back to the beekeeper’s property.

Nearly all of the worker bees followed the queen to the new hive; and the beekeepers estimated there were 12-15 pounds of bees in the new hive when they were loaded for transport. By weight this equates to more than 250,000 honeybees.

“This effort shows our commitment to environmental stewardship during all phases of a construction project,” said Toby Schwalbe, environmental specialist with Williams.

You can read more about Williams environmental stewardship efforts in the 2019 Sustainability Report.

Energy & Infrastructure

What is renewable natural gas?

What do cows and trash have in common? They are both sources of renewable natural gas and key to several Williams …