Paris penthouses for busy bees

2009-08-14 09:37

Paris - Strange as it may seem, bees get a better buzz from the urban Paris jungle than from the countryside.

There are all sorts of flowers only short flights away, and little risk of death by pesticide.

But the bee's knees are the penthouse hives atop some of the city's best and historically prestigious monuments - the spectacular steel and glass domed Grand Palais exhibition hall by the banks of the Seine, for instance.

"Honeybees are happy in town, they have everything they need," said Grand Palais director Sebastien de Gasquet.

Collecting pollen and nectar is no sweat with the Tuileries gardens lying only a short distance away, "not to mention the Grand Palais' own flowerbeds", he said.

The two beehives set on the edge of the building's huge glass dome last May are rooms with a view of the Eiffel tower and Notre-Dame cathedral. Three or four extra hives are to be added to bring production up to half a ton of honey a year.

City bees, said Nicolas Geant, the beekeeper behind the Grand Palais scheme, nowadays produce four to five times more honey than their country cousins.

"In agricultural areas you can produce around 10 to 20kg of honey per year per hive while in cities you can get between 80 and 100kg," he said.

Myriad of flowers and trees

And his idea of placing beehives at the Grand Palais - Paris' Garnier Opera house has had its own beehives for years - is aimed at denouncing that very paradox.

In rural areas close to farms, there are less and less hedges, trees and flowers. But in the city "there are a myriad of small flowers in parks and on balconies, as well as a wide variety of trees along streets and in public gardens - acacia, lime and chestnut trees - that are nectar to the bees."

While Paris is polluted, notably from car exhaust, "this bears no comparison with agricultural areas where pesticides, fungicides and fertilisers kill massive numbers of bees", he said.

France's Union of Apiarists (Unaf) has signalled high mortality rates near corn, sunflower and rapeseed fields, while bee deaths across Europe have been 30 to 35% higher than average since the 1980s thanks to a number of factors, including the use pf pesticides.

"There are practically no pesticides in the city," said Jean Lacube, the beekeeper in charge of eight hives at another Paris building in the city's chic 7th district.

City bees also thrive in a town's more temperate climate, he added, and are safe from attacks by the deadly Asian hornet that has decimated bees in the southwest part of France in the last years.

There are some 300 beehives in Paris, Lacube said.

"But beekeeping in a city is a luxury," he added. "Beekeeping should be in the countryside, the future is not in the cities."

Read more on:    paris  |  bees  |  environment
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.