Prague is becoming a paradise for bees, their number is growing

Prague is becoming a paradise for bees, their number is growing
Prague is becoming a paradise for bees, their number is growing

The capital is experiencing a beekeeping boom. The number of bee colonies is close to 5,000, and bees also live on the roofs of buildings. Together with green roofs, they thus contribute to a more sustainable and ecological environment in the metropolis. The Czech Beekeepers Association registers 4,849 bee colonies in 849 locations and 667 beekeepers in Prague. Rooftop beekeeping is popular, beehives are already located in dozens of places, including the municipality building or shopping centers. Interest in beekeeping is growing not only among individuals, but also among companies and institutions.

Beekeeping is becoming more and more popular in Prague. The Czech Association of Beekeepers registers 4,849 bee colonies at 849 sites and 667 beekeepers within the metropolis. Rooftop beekeeping is also gaining popularity, bees are kept on Prague roofs in dozens of places, including the historic town hall building or shopping centers. “In the center of the city, this way of managing bee colonies is very attractive, even instructive, given that conventional spaces are usually not very accessible. Such a location therefore suits not only beekeepers, but judging by the traditionally good results of beekeepers and bees. Even in the city center and within range there are good nesting opportunities. This always has a positive effect on the condition and yield of the bee colony,” explains Richard Tehník from the Czech Beekeepers’ Association (ČSV).

Beekeeping has recently become very popular with our clients. We offer them rooftop and garden beekeeping, and currently, for example, we manage 6 beehives on the roof of a department store in Žižkov, Prague,” he says Roman Lipovsky, facility manager of ABIS, which deals with integrated building management. However, the placement of beehives is not always simple – the surroundings of the building, the amount of flowering trees and bushes and other factors must be taken into account. “It is also necessary to check together with the beekeepers the suitability of the location in terms of protecting the bee colony from wind, sun and cold. Of course, we consult everything with the Czech Association of Beekeepers,” adds Lipovský. Today, we can find rooftop habitats for beekeeping, for example, at the National Theater decoration warehouse, the Dancing House or the headquarters of the State Veterinary Administration.

In Prague, bees have traditionally been kept in city districts with gardens, courtyards and older residential buildings. Popular localities are, for example, Petřín and other green areas and parks on the left bank of the Vltava or also the outskirts of the metropolis, where the nature of the development offers a clutch of gardens and wildflowers. It is Prague that is attractive to beekeepers and bees due to its strong diversity of brood sources, in contrast to other locations with monoculture areas.

In recent years, beekeeping has also penetrated more into the city center. “Relatively many people interested in beekeeping are being induced, for whom the motive is the care of nature and ecology. In companies, there is perhaps a greater focus on the message of such activity towards the public than is the case in the private sector. In both cases, however, it is often an attempt to somehow help the planet,” says Těhník. It is institutions and companies that are aware of the potential of unused roofs of large buildings and want to use it for placing beehives. “We always try to appeal to beginning beekeepers to think carefully about what they are doing and what resources or professional competences they have for such an activity. If a person is not completely sure of his decision, the environment can be helped by other activities as well.” adds Těhník.

The use of roof spaces for sustainable activities is therefore not only seen in beekeeping, but also in the growing interest in creating green roofs and roof gardens. In addition to planting flowers, which can then be pollinated by bees, they bring a number of other benefits: they protect against heavy rainfall and overheating of buildings in the summer, improve the microclimate, bring energy savings through insulation and have ecological effects. They increase biodiversity in the city, creating new habitats for insects, birds and small mammals. Green roofs also help retain rainwater, reducing the risk of sewer overloads during torrential rains.

Greenery is placed both on roofs and on facades and walls of interiors and exteriors. “Recently, clients have been asking for the placement of greenery on the facades of buildings both from an aesthetic point of view, but mainly for the reason of reducing the ambient temperature. In interior spaces, there is an interest in so-called green or moss walls, which clean the air of pollutants and oxygenate the space.” states Lipovský.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Prague paradise bees number growing


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