WICHITA, Kan. — Appreciating nature is more than idle buzz at Greteman Group. The Wichita-based marketing agency recently launched Free to Bee, an interactive microsite designed to both entertain and educate visitors. Visitors plant virtual gardens to help bees thrive. They scroll over objects and fun facts pop up. (I mean, did you know that honey bees never sleep and their wings stroke 11,400 times a minute?)

“We think visitors will be charmed by the site and have lots of fun with it,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “We also hope they leave encouraged to do their part by creating bee-friendly habitats in their yards and communities. The actions are simple, but the effects profound.”

The site communicates bees’ vital role in pollinating flowers, fruit trees and crops. (Bees play a part in almost every bite of food we eat.) Whimsical graphics and playful animation serve to make the time on site fly and learning fun.

Getting up close and personal with bees does more than encourage a deeper understanding of their place in nature. A flight with the winged wonders also reinforces Greteman Group’s market niche – aviation marketing. The agency sent a Free to Bee branded email to clients as part of its annual holiday tradition.

“We abandoned traditional gift giving more than 20 years ago,” says Greteman. “Clients watch their mailboxes and inboxes each year, never knowing what we’ll develop. We mix it up, cycling between digital and 3-D print. Whatever comes, they know it symbolizes a gift on their behalf to a worthy nonprofit.”

This year’s charitable donation goes to Botanica, the Wichita Gardens. Its 18 acres of wildflower meadows, canopied woodlands, formal gardens and water features offer sanctuary for pollinators and humans alike.

“We appreciate the innovative way to get the word out about Botanica and spread to new audiences,” says Marty Miller, Botanica executive director. “The Free To Bee campaign highlights a benefit of the gardens that isn’t always communicated. We also appreciate people keeping Botanica in mind for their charitable giving during the holiday season.”

Kate Sheppard, Botanica education program manager/Downing Children’s Garden, notes additional habitat has been added.

“Botanica has deepened its commitment to pollinators this past year by installing hives, which produce raw honey from all the flowers our guests enjoy,” says Sheppard.

Just another reason to appreciate the winged wonders.

“Nature’s beauty wouldn’t be possible without bees,” says Greteman. “A lot rides on those tiny wings.”

You can share the site GretemanGroup.com/FreeToBee and spark up conversation on your social channels by including #FreeToBee.

Published in the December 6th, 2016 edition of Morning Ag Clips