May 6, 2021

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Milan becomes livelier with 1 million bees in designer hives

Milan becomes livelier with 1 million bees in designer hives


MILAN: Thursday, the Italian capital of fashion and finance, has become a little more lively with a project that mixes biodiversity with art.
A bee collective has introduced 17 new colonies into new designer hives, bringing the city’s population of honey bees grown by the Urban Beehives project to 1 million. The creator Claudia Zanfi stated that the project aims to “create an intersection between artistic language and biodiversity”.
The art is in the form of beehives designed by international artists, and the biodiversity comes from bees, which help pollinate the plants in the city’s expanding green spaces.
The new beehives were introduced into their homes in the Cascina Merlata Park, 20 hectares (50 acres) of new park dedicated last year on the land used for the Expo 2015 Universal Exposition, which focuses on food, food safety and nutrition.
The seven-year award-winning project aims to educate the public about the importance of bees to the environment, increasing their population and producing a sweet honey treat. It is classified as the largest urban bee collective in Europe, with hives located in four public parks in the city.
“Urban Beehives is a redevelopment project of urban greenery through the reintroduction of bees in the city – said Zanfi -. There have always been bees in the city, but the novelty is to create a public space for them”.
Starting next week, Zanfi’s Green Island group will offer courses and workshops at the park on beekeeping and the fundamental role of bees in helping maintain a healthy planet.
Two years ago, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization sounded the alarm that declining bee populations pose a threat to global food security and nutrition.
“Bees play a fundamental role in our life, but also in the life of the planet,” said Zanfi.