The Viennese are loving the bees and they’re into beekeeping these days. Proof of this are the increasing bee populations on roofs of important buildings of the Austrian capital such as the State Opera House, the Burgtheater, the Museum of Natural History and even at the Vienna General Hospital.
The local beekeeping association in the city reports that hundreds of tonnes of honey are being harvested in Vienna today. Apart from the trees, meadows, parks, gardens and roadside verges which attract the bees, there are now balconies and green rooftops that help increase the bee population.
Additionally, more than 600 Viennese have invested in hives and have joined a special association for beekeepersr called Stadt-Imker. The group is on a mission to monitor and manage all beehives around the city.
In order to attract bees, a rooftop garden needs to have different types of plants notably the exotic varieties. Most of these plants are available in gardens and window boxes.
A mininum investment of 250 GBP is needed to start a beehive hobby. This already includes the beehive as well as the basic tools and equipment such as the protective clothing.
Beekeeping in Vienna dates back to the reign of Empress Theresa from 1740 to 1780. It was in 1769 when the Empress set up a beekeeping school in the city and assigned Anton Janscha to teach the subject introducing the use of wooden boxes to improve and manage the colony.