At the Grand Palais, the Garnier Opera, Louis Vuitton Malletier, the EDF electric company, BNP Paribas, Groupama, Hotel Pullman, Guerlain, the Tour d’Argent, Patrick Roger Chocolatier, Financière de l’Échiquier, beehives are booming in the capital. They can be found as much at corporations listed on the CAC 40, who are hoping to communicate a commitment to sustainable development, as in non-profit, cultural and educational organizations, and even, more and more, in the homes of private individuals. The profile par excellence of this latter is a 40 to 50 year old woman with an ecological, bohemian and middle-class vein in her.
Today, not only do you find in most average French cities wooden hives holding the insects, you can see them in other world capitals: London, New York, and soon Berlin. The “honey flies”, for such a long time persona non grata, are colonizing the cities again. And city-dwellers have started to dream about the city of tomorrow – parks, renewable energy, bicycles…The success of the Parisian beehives, however, exposes a paradox: the city has become the land of milk and above all honey for bees, who are dying off in the countryside, killed by pesticides and the subsidized farming overly dependent on petroleum products, both guaranteeing fiscal revenue for the State and constant demand for industries. And those pesticides are not the only artificial culprit: there are also the herbicides and monocultural farming in general to blame. But Spring is coming… The trees in Paris will soon be covered in flowers, to the great pleasure of Parisian bees.