Tucked away on rooftops and amongst government gardens are buzzing beehives scattered across Washington, D.C. Though this might sound like an odd place to house the pollinators, it’s part of a national strategy launched by former President Barack Obama to protect and promote bees, which started in 2014 as a solution to the decreasing populations. Bees and other pollinators pollinate about a third of the world’s crops and three quarters of all plants that flower, which means that it’s essential to preserve their habitats.
To highlight these efforts, CBS News released a story in July 2023 on how government, office, and embassy buildings in Washington, D.C. are housing and protecting bees, and we’re buzzing that our own Embassy rooftop bees were featured! Check out the CBS News story here.
In 2020, the Embassy of Canada in Washington, D.C. partnered with Alvéole, a beekeeping company based in Montreal. They installed two beehives on the rooftop, housing tens of thousands of bees. This year, our queen bees were named Celine BEE-on and BEEyoncé: Queen Bey, naturally. Our cute and fuzzy bees pollinate the surrounding plants and provide the Embassy with about 100 jars of honey per year. Despite stereotypes, our bees are happy to ignore rooftop visitors. CBS News captured their buzzingly sweet personalities well: “Befitting the Canadian national stereotype, the bees were surprisingly friendly.” Get the latest buzz on our bee community by checking out Alvéole’s blog.
Bee preservation efforts are paying off thanks to the beekeepers and participating buildings and organizations; in fact, the honeybee population has increased and stabilized over the past few years. “I often say it’s one of my favourite parts of my job, actually coming up here and getting to work with the bees,” says Sean Robertson, Minister-Counsellor, Management & Consul General, at the Embassy of Canada.
Watch the CBS News news story to see our busy bees and Alvéole beekeepers, Shea and Solomon, at work: