The Initiative

Let’s get Berlin buzzing!
Within the context of a collaborative action, beehives are since early 2011 situated and maintained on about a dozen prominent sites throughout the capital city. This is done in cooperation with experienced Berlin beekeepers and the hosts of the buildings. Providing a building for the bees is a publicly visible signal from the hosts: "We put value in and want to acknowledge the great importance of the bees to our city and to society as a whole."

Honey bees and wild bees are in need ...
There is a lack of junior beekeepers in Germany – they are necessary for compensating for the aging community of beekeepers as well as for the decreasing number of professional beekeepers. Furthermore, parasites, diseases, pesticides and a lack of nourishment are all threats to the well-being of honey bees. And at the same time, the abundance of wild bees is declining – many species are even on the Red List of Threatened Species. Blossomy living environments with suitable conditions for nesting are necessary for the many species of wild bees. In the metropolis they are under constant pressure as well, and therefore, there is a need to preserve and develop desired conditions.

The Vision

Berlin is buzzing! is a vision with the aim to inspire and encourage as many Berliners as possible. Would you also be interested in preparing diverse living environments for the bees? It's your city! They’re “your“ bees!

Berlin is buzzing! seeks to make Berliners aware of their urban nature. The aim is to increase the understanding of our dependence on functioning ecosystems. What we want to accomplish is to get Berliners to cherish “their” bees. Such valuation can manifest itself in the most various measures and actions from which bees benefit, either directly or indirectly. If it does - we have reached our goal.

Our Mascot
The initiative has put the well-known honey bee in focus of attention. Through a deeper understanding of this livestock, the aim is, however ,also to recognize the meaning and beauty of their wild relatives - the wild bees - and their threatened habitats. Derived from the “original mascot”, which is also appearing in Munich, Frankfurt and Hamburg, the Berlin mascot wears the colours of our city (red and white). The mascot also hums on the so called Berlin is buzzing!-honey and contributes to easy recognition.

Many of the hosts gladly give away the honey as a gift to their guests. In that way, they use the bee as a likeable ambassador for a diverse urban nature and set an example: For a diverse urban nature, “conservation” is not all that counts. Everyone can make a contribution – and: it’s fun and guarantees a lot of enlightening moments!

We are delighted by the fact that the project enjoys such a large and diverse clientele: beekeepers, environmentalists, conservationists, artists, the media and cultural institutions – they all welcome the project. At this point, it also hums in about ten German cities and towns, among them Munich, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg and Hannover. More cities will follow. Are you going to buzz as well?

Article: Swooning over swarms - FuturePerfect, July 2014


Dr. Corinna Hölzer & Cornelis Hemmer
Stiftung für Mensch und Umwelt
Hermannstraße 29, D - 14163 Berlin
Tel.: +49 30 394064-310

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