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Notre-Dame’s Smallest Residents Survived

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On the main rooftop of the Cathedral, colonies of France’s tiniest residences are housed, and to all our surprise these bee colonies had survived the devastating fire.

Notre Dame housed three beehives on the first floor on a roof over the sacristry, since 2013. Each hive had approximately 60,000 bees. It was part of an initiative to boost the bees numbers across Paris.

Nicolas Geant, the beekeeper, was relieved when he saw from a satellite image and the spokesman for the Cathedral Andre Finot confirmed that the bees were going in and out of the hives. Geant wasn’t sure if all the bees survived until he can inspect the site.

Geant said, fortunately, the hives were not touched by the blaze as they are located about 30 meters (98 ft) below the main roof of the Notre- Dame’s where the fire spread. Had the hives been near the fire they would have gone up in flames as they made of wood.

The Notre Dame Cathedral and its contents were not insured. The costs are estimated to be in the billions of pounds to rebuild. It will have to be funded through private donations and the Government.

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European bees never abandon their hives or their queen. They stay when they sense danger. High temperatures would pose an enormous risk as the smoke would have inoculated them. The carbon dioxide does not kill them, it makes them drunk and puts them to sleep.

There is a decline in the bee population over the years. Some species have already been added to the endangered list. Bees are vital to the survival of agriculture. To put it mildly, bees keep our plants and crops alive; without them, humans wouldn’t have much to eat.

We should all do our part to help the bees.

  1. Plant bee-friendly flowers.
  2. Plant flowering herbs in your garden.
  3. Don’t use chemicals and pesticides in your garden.
  4. Buy local and raw honey.

How to make a bee waterer and help hydrate our pollinators:
Fill a with a bowl and add marble or pebbles and then add water. The marbles/pebbles give the bees a spot to land, so they don’t drown. Change the water regularly to avoid mosquitoes laying eggs in the water.

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