Whilst our chubby honey pushers are taking a well deserved winter break, I have been overwhelmed by the passionate endeavors of Copenhagen´s beekeepers, ensuring that the city secures a healthy bee population and putting Copenhagen firmly on the urban farming map. 10 years ago it was quite a different picture with a dwindling bee population threatening pollination of our beloved green locations.
However, spurred on by the effects of the financial crisis in 2008, many of Copenhagen´s residents, commercial and social enterprises began looking at creating alternative and sustainable ways of utilizing urban gardening and farming. In 2010, Bybi (City bees), a non-profit organization, began cooperating with commercial organizations that donated their rooftops for their beehives. Today, Bybi can boast of 20 bee installations scattered over the city, that harvested 5 tons of honey last year, with each beehive providing its own distinctive flavor. An important element in Bybi´s activities, is undoubtedly its social responsibilty, training asylum seekers and the homeless to become beekeepers. Since 2011, The European Environment Agency has provided its rooftops in central Copenhagen to beehives, managed by Bybi, which has contributed to an influx of bees to the city and 100 kg. of honey per year. And not to be outdone, The City Hall donated its rooftops to an invasion of 140,000 bees that have a birds eye view of Tivoli´s Gardens and its pollens.
Many of Copenhagen´s schools and kindergartens are now the proud owners of beehives introducing children of all ages to the fascinating world of the humble bee. Even the world´s most renowned restaurant, Noma, has installed beehives in its Nordic Garden, embracing the new tastes of Copenhagen. This ingenious installation on the harbor´s waterfront, right outside of the restaurant, designed by Polyform Archictects, have cleverly brought the beehives down to street level, becoming visible both to the restaurant`s customers and the curious passerby. This wonderful design solution from Polyform Architects, rightly won them Wan Landscape Award in 2014
Living in the relatively new neighborhood of Sluseholmen with its flat rooftops, wouldn´t it be interesting to have our own South Harbor bee installation, where the busy little fellas can visit the 900 or so balconies and rooftop terraces with their array of spring and summer flowers, the wild herbs and berries over on Amager Fælled and the luscious allotment gardens around Nokken. Now that is a honey that I would like to taste!
Photos of the Nordic Garden by Wichmann + Bendtsen Photography