Rooftop bee hives – The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is already buzzing with creativity thanks to its Art Hive – a space devoted to art therapy open to a wide public. From now on, it will also buzz for the benefit of the ecosystem by hosting two Alvéole urban beehives.
Installed on an outdoor terrace on the second story of the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, the hives will enable 100,000 bees to pollinate an area some 5 km in extent and thus to contribute to the greening of the neighbourhood. This urban beekeeping installation will help to protect bees, since the decline in bee populations across the world is a cause for concern. It should be remembered that these insects play a vital role in the production of fruit, vegetables and nuts.
The hives were installed with the collaboration of Alvéole, a social enterprise founded in 2012 in Montreal that specializes in urban beekeeping. “With the addition of two urban hives, the MMFA is helping to make Montreal one of the world’s most dynamic cities in terms of urban agriculture. This movement, which aims to transform cities into oases for pollinators, constitutes a springboard to raise awareness of the importance of bees, since a third of our food supplies depend on their pollination”, adds Alex McLean, co-founder of Alvéole.
Visitors to the Museum can admire the hives from inside the Pavilion for Peace without fearing to be stung (except perhaps by a love of art!). Unlike wasps, bees are not aggressive and sting only very rarely, solely to protect their colony. The two hives should produce from 20 to 30 kilos of honey, the equivalent of 300 little jars of honey.
Photos: MBAM, Sébastien Roy