Report from the 15 July 2016

Bees at the Opéra Bastille

Bee hives on the terraces of the Opéra Bastille
© Inès Artigala
14 July 2016Launch of the 2016 Summer Opera Season 1 August 2016Aurélie Dupont, the Paris Opera’s new Dance Director

This season, the Paris Opera is welcoming thousands of new residents: five hives, each populated by 50,000 bees, are now positioned on the terraces of the Opéra Bastille. Maintained by MUGO, a company of professional beekeepers, these new bee hives complement the five other hives that originally installed on the roof of the Palais Garnier in 2015.  

Known and appreciated by connoisseurs for 30 years, the honey produced on the roof of the Palais Garnier will soon be available for sale in the Paris Opera’s gift shops alongside the honey produced in the hives at the Opéra Bastille. Weather conditions permitting, the first harvests of the new honey, produced by the swarms of the "Buckfast" bees, will be available in the Autumn of 2016.  

Honeycombs containing the honey stored by the bees at the Opéra Bastille
Honeycombs containing the honey stored by the bees at the Opéra Bastille © Inès Artigala

Contrary to common belief, bees have no difficulty foraging in an urban environment: the lack of pesticides in parks and public gardens, the reduced temperature variations, the numerous water resources, the large floral diversity and the relatively low levels of industrial pollution work together to produce honey of exceptional quality.  

This environmental project is part of an overall effort to promote the greening of public urban spaces. As a result, the Paris Opera is a now a hive of cultural activity in more ways than one!