Nicolas Géant tending to his bees on the rooftop of the Grand Palais in Paris.
As bees are becoming the latest species moving toward extinction, many beekeepers in Paris are finding urban rooftops to be a great place to harvest and house their honey. Urban beekeeping has been on the rise, doubling in numbers in New York and London between 1999 and 2012. In Paris, many famous tourist spots are only a few of the locations throughout the city with movable frame hives like the one pictured above located on its rooftops. Among the documented hives are those located at Opera Garnier, Notre Dame de Paris, Grand Palais, and the National Assembly in Paris. Certain hotels like the Mandarin-Oriental and the Eiffel Park Hotel also house bees on their roofs–and they sell their honey at a steep price too, around 15 euros for 150 grams (about 20 bucks for a third of a pound)!
Affected more and more by pesticide practices around the world, the bee populations are harmed and lost causing a greater toll on the global agricultural economy (roughly $214 billion) which relies heavily on the pollination from bees. Beekeepers are flocking from the French countryside to the urban areas where laws restrict the uses of pesticide. The loss to their bee populations due to pesticide has seen a sharp drop since moving to the city, according to Jean Paucton, the 75-year-old beekeeper who tends the hives on the roof of the Opera building: “Losses in the countryside can be as much as 50 percent, while the number in the city doesn’t even approach 5 percent. Some years, [we don’t] lose any in the city.”
Here are some photos of “apiculture-friendly” Parisian rooftops:
Nicolas Géant moving some of the hives on the roof of Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. (Photo via NDP)
Olivier Dame working with the hives on the rooftop of the Mayor’s Office in Saint-Denis, Paris. Photo by Eric Tourneret.
Jean Pauchton working on the rooftop hives at Opera Garnier. Photo by Eric Tourneret.
Beekeeping in Paris isn’t all that new, either. In the Luxembourg Gardens, beekeeping has been going on since 1856.