150,000 honey bees on the roof of Skanska’s new head office

7/4/2012 1:53 PM CET

The preparations are now under way in the city, assisted by two biologists and organic bee-keepers, Karolina Lisslö & Josefina Oddsberg from the company Bee Urban. The first stage entails that both have just completed Skanska’s three-hour safety on height course. Falling from heights is actually the most common cause of serious accidents at construction sites. The course includes both theory and practice.

Testing the safety harnesses for working at heights.

"It's great being involved in the planning stage. And taking part in this course has been an excellent investment for us, since our bee hives are placed on roofs in Stockholm city. Now we have a better understanding of the risks, as well as the regulations," says Karolina Lisslö, one of Bee Urban's founders.

"This is the type of long-term collaboration we are looking for – the development of sustainable cities with planned beehives," says Josefina Oddsberg, one of Bee Urban's founders.

Honey bee deaths are a growing problem. Reports in recent years have stated how honey bees are dying all over the world, which could have dire consequences for food production and supplies, since most crops and plants are pollinated by bees. And Sweden is no exception; the number of bees is also declining here at an alarming rate. The reasons are many, including changes in the modern agricultural landscape, harmful pesticides and disease.

"Keeping bees on the roof is very much in line with our sustainability practices. For Skanska, the purpose is to show our desire to participate and accept social responsibility and community involvement. With small and simple but valuable efforts, we hope to contribute to the survival of honey bees as well as calling attention to this global problem," says Christine V. Gustavsson, Knowledge Sharing Manager at Skanska.

Is there any risk that the bees will visit the conference rooms?

Honey bees are only interested in flowers and they are not nearly as aggressive as wasps can be.

What do bees and Skanska have in common?

We are community builders, hard-working and dedicated to health and safety.

Bee Urban was founded by Karolina Lisslö & Josefina Oddsberg, whose idea is to spread awareness, knowledge and the pollinating effect of honey bees and their impact on both a local and a global scale.