A German publishing house has sent a strong message by setting up two beehives on its headquarters rooftop.
Hamburg-based media firm Oetinger said the decision to install the hives – which will give up to 100,000 bees a home – was an essential part of its sustainability initiative.
Oetinger commercial director Christian Graef underlined: “Bees do not just ensure farmers’ harvests by pollinating plants and flowers. They are also crucial for the ecosystem.”
Graef added: “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 extracted from the Oetinger rooftop hives as of next May, according to Graef, who stressed that the whole enterprise was very much looking forward to this occasion.
Beekeeper Greta Reese – who will supervise the hives – has revealed that there are many positive aspects of setting up beehives in urban areas.
Reese 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-leaved 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.