A German publishing group has set up a new home for 100,000 bees with a decision to put two giant hives on its Hamburg rooftop.
Oetinger publishing house – which specialised in children’s books – explained that the move is a part of its sustainability programme.
Commercial director Christian Graef said: “Bees do not just ensure farmers’ harvests by pollinating plants and flowers. They are also crucial for the ecosystem.
“As a company, we have decided to do what we can to support the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
“By installing beehives on the roof of our headquarter building, we want to contribute to the protection of biodiversity.”
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals include the fight against poverty and hunger but also affordable, clean energy and climate action.
Honey will be taken from the rooftop hives from next May, Graef explained.
Beekeeper Greta Reese – who will supervise the hives – has revealed that there are many positive aspects of setting up beehives in urban areas.
She explained: “Excessive usage of pesticides and insecticides is making life increasingly difficult for bees in the countryside.
“One-crop agriculture and a poor diversity of plants are putting further strain on them.
“Cities can turn out to be a protected habitat for bees. The availability of unsealed meadows with a rich variety of blossoming plants is the key.”
The expert added: “As far as the pollinating process is concerned, the bees of Hamburg are focusing on the city’s trees, especially the large-leafed lime.”
Oetinger was founded by book dealer Friedrich Oetinger in 1946.
Books for children and adolescents have been at the heart of the publishing house’s activities ever since it released the first German edition of celebrated Swedish author Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking in 1949.
Beekeeping has a long tradition in Hamburg.
Back in 1925, the northern German city’s Beekeepers Association already consisted of 198 members managing more than 2,400 colonies.
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Story By: Thomas Hochwarter, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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