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Young Helsinki beekeepers tend to urban hives

Bee populations have been dying off worldwide, causing concern over global ecosystems. But in Helsinki, a hundred-odd new 'city beehives' operated by young people can be found even in the middle of the city.

Image: Yle

The droning buzz of some 140,000 bees is audible on the roof of the Lasipalatsi complex in central Helsinki. The capital city houses about one hundred urban beehives, operated by sixty keepers. Among those with hives of their own are restaurant Savoy and the Perho restaurant school.

"Five years ago the average age of beekeepers was around 60 years, but young people are actively bringing that number down," says Merja-Riitta Laurila from the Stadin tarhaajat beekeeping association. "The boom is tied to an interest in urban farming."

Beekeeping is a hobby that the organisation encourages through basic courses.

Beekeepers and agriculturalists in the US and Europe especially have been reporting bee deaths and associated phenomena for years, calling it colony collapse disorder (siirryt toiseen palveluun). But in Helsinki, these miniature start-up hives have seen a healthy rise in localised bee populations.

The interview was conducted by the Swedish language news unit, Yle Huvudstadsregionen.

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