Bratislava's Mayor enhances biodiversity by bringing bee colonies to the city to produce honey on top of municipal buildings.
THE MAYOR IS A BEEKEEPER
How often do you see the Mayor of a capital city with a beekeeping hat on? And on the roof of the municipal building? In Bratislava, this is now a normal sight. Thanks to their mosaic structure, and all the different flowers that are grown not only in parks but also on balconies, cities have a significant potential when it comes to biodiversity. Unlike in the agricultural countryside, urban areas are better suited to bees due to the fact that there are significantly fewer pesticides on flowers as there are on crops. Although more and more bees are appearing in cities, it is now up to the initiatives of civic associations or individuals to keep this trend going.
120,000 NEW HARDWORKING INHABITANTS
The state capital became an inspiration for both private companies and public institutions when it decided to place two beehives on the roof of the municipal building. Matúš Vallo, the Mayor of Bratislava, regularly checks on the bees and was happy to announce the arrival of 120,000 new and very hardworking inhabitants of the city. The City of Bratislava cooperated with the initiative “Uletená včela” (Flying Bee), a project initiated by three beekeepers who are trying to repopulate cities with bees and popularise beekeeping itself. They take care of the city’s bees, and their main goal is to inspire as many Slovak villages, cities, and companies to keep bees themselves and set a good example for their fellow citizens.
THE RESULTS ARE DELICIOUS
And how does the honey taste? It is delicious, just like the city: it tastes like the flowers in the window of your favourite shop; it tastes like a morning walk in your nearest park; like an afternoon picnic with friends. The city can be as good a home for bees as it is for its human inhabitants. And even more so since bees do not have to worry about traffic jams and living costs, do they? The project did not require any funding from the city, as the hives were installed by the NGO “Uletená včela”. Half of the honey goes to the town, which gives it away at various events and occasions. Part of the remaining honey is kept by the NGO and the rest stays in hives to allow the bees to survive winter, without any additional feeding with sugar. The presence of bees in the city contributes to the improvement of urban greenery and naturally increases the quality of life in the city.
We all know the important role that bees play in the ecosystem. If there are no bees, there will be no humans either. Bees maintain ecological balance and play an important role in improving green spaces in the city. In my opinion, city bees are the best solution for many problems. To keep bees in the city and to produce "city honey" can be a challenge – we cooperated with the founders of the „Uletená včela“ project, who asked us a year ago if they could keep bees on the roof of the municipality building. Before the summer, we placed two beehives with 120,000 bees there. The bees have not disappointed us, producing tens of kilograms of healthy honey, half of which remains for the city itself.