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Beehive on the roof

Bees as endangered creatures

It is well known that bees are of special importance for our agriculture and thus for the entire planet Earth. After all, about 85% of agricultural yields depend on the pollination services of bees. If bees did not exist, there would be crop failures and famine. 
Nevertheless, not enough is being done worldwide to combat bee mortality. On the contrary, the situation for bees is getting worse and worse. First, mass bee deaths were observed in the USA, but in Europe these deaths are called »bee collapse«. In China, pollination has to be done manually by humans. This phenomenon is largely due to the use of pesticides and chemicals, which cause considerable damage to the bees and, as a result, to humans through their food intake. This is because the bees absorb these poisons via the plants. 

Bees at the Vienna State Opera

To make a small contribution against bee mortality, bees have been resident at the Vienna State Opera since 2010. Initially, the beehives were located on the roof. When the beekeeper couple who looked after the hives retired, a new home was sought and found:

Two beehives were settled in the Turmstube on the corner of Operngasse and Philharmonikergasse. These are Carnica bee colonies, each with a pure-bred queen, and each hive has 60-70,000 bees. The hives are protected with Plexiglas so that interested visitors can observe them safely and without protective clothing. As soon as backstage tours, which are currently not allowed due to the Corona prevention concept, can take place again, tours of the tower room will be offered.

A charming detail on the side: the bees are looked after by State Opera staff themselves - anyone whose passion is beekeeping can join in. Currently, employees from the controlling and building administration departments are beekeepers themselves in their free time and look after the »most musical bees in Vienna«.

Honey for a good cause

This spring the first honey will be bottled and will be available for purchase in the State Opera Shop in the opera foyer. The net proceeds will benefit the Vienna State Opera's promotion of young talent, opera school and opera studio.

Partner of the Vienna State Opera Bees

The bees of the Vienna State Opera are supported by Raiffeisen - Der Stadtbank in Vienna.