Why urban beekeeping is all the buzz

Globe & Mail, May 20, 2010

The Paris Opera House has one on its roof. So does London’s famed food emporium, Fortnum and Mason. And the Obama White House recently added one to the historic South Lawn.

This week, the Canadian Opera Company joined the rapidly growing urban bee phenomenon – installing two new honey bee hives on the roof of its home at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

“The planet is losing honey bees at an alarming rate,” explains the COC’s general director Alexander Neef, “and we are happy to provide a place for them.”

At their summer peak, the new COC hives are expected to attract some 120,000 bees and to generate about 50 pounds of honey annually. It can’t be sold, because it won’t be pasteurized. But, quipped Mr. Neef, “we might consider giving it away as a bonus to those who subscribe to the opera early.”


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