Bee fans in Zagreb are all abuzz following news that beehives will soon be allowed in the city.
Beekeeping in the Croatian capital is currently banned - as is breeding chickens or pigs. But with urban beekeeping growing in popularity worldwide, Zagreb could soon follow suit. The idea was put forward by Alen Ostojić - a member of the City Assembly - who claimed that urban beekeeping brings self-employment opportunities and tourist attractions, and said:“Zagreb aspires to be a green and healthy city, and such a city cannot exist without bees, so we propose to the Mayor to allow beekeeping in urban conditions”
If it goes ahead, beehives could be installed in the Botanical Gardens, as well as the roofs of landmark city buildings, such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall.
Ostojić's proposal was welcomed by Mayor Milan Bandić, who said: “you are knocking on the open doors”. So a team of bee experts are being called upon, and Ostojić has already proposed plans to get the insects integrated into city life: “We want to introduce ‘honey breakfasts’ in kindergartens and schools and launch a project of the Beekeeping Museum. We also demand that all city regulations are amended in a way which would allow the keeping and breeding of bees in specific urban conditions. About 200-300 beehives should be placed at certain locations in the city. We would also like to organize promotional activities so that citizens of Zagreb would get to know the benefits of urban bees.”
He also explained the benefits of the insects: “Thanks to numerous flower beds, urban gardens, orchards and parks, there are more and more bees in the city. The beekeeping community gathered around the Pčelinjak Association points out that these are excellent, vital, peaceful honeybees that ‘clean’ our city every morning. These are facts which we should be proud of, since the bees are a strong ecological indicator and are extremely sensitive to any form of pollution”.