Thanks to a guild of urban beekeepers, businesses, and locals, the bees of Oslo can safely fly across town all the way from Holmenkollen to Lake Nøklevann.
ByBi in Oslo is both an organisation for urban beekeepers and an environmental organisation which focus on biodiversity. It is organised as a local guild under the Norwegian Beekeepers Association and has about 400 members.
ByBi also sells honey from urban bees in different shops in Oslo, and some hotels serve their honey for breakfast.
We owe the bees our gratitude for granting us with honey, spreading pollen, and fertilising plants. Unfortunately, the bee population is threatened, and the struggle to find places to eat and sleep is especially challenging for the bees in bigger cities.
With that in mind, the urban guild of beekeepers ByBi initiated measures to make sure more bees can settle and have good lives in the capital. Like a highway for bees, the “pollinator passage” stretches from Holmenkollen in the north-west, to Lake Nøkkelvann in the south-east.
Green roofs, lush parks, and strategically placed beehives make it possible for the bees to find resting places and food almost anywhere in Oslo.
“We are constantly reshaping our environment to meet our needs, forgetting that other species also live in it”, Agnes Lyche Melvær, creator of the “pollinator passage”, tells the British newspaper The Guardian.
“To correct that we need to return places to them to live and feed,” she says.
The project with the passage started in 2014 and has developed to the point where locals plant flowers on their balconies and erect bug hotels, or even their own beehives. There are few dead zones within the city centre by now, and only a few places on the map are listed as places ByBi wants new beehives.
Two of the most impressive beehives in Oslo are found on top of Dansens hus in the Vulkan neighbourhood right by the river Akerselva. Two beehives designed by Snøhetta, who also designed the Oslo Opera House, are found on the roof there.
Now more and more hotels and buildings around town also establish "green" roofs, filled with plants and flowers, so that the bees can thrive and survive.
By the way, did you know that honey bees are fab flyers? They fly at a speed of around 25 km per hour and beat their wings 200 times per second!