The Gisou Bees Project is a special Gisou initiative in support of urban beekeeping practices to fight the declining bee populations worldwide. With this project, we show our support to urban beekeeping efforts by placing urban Gisou beehives in major cities around the world.
Urban bees vs rural bees
As an endangered species, bee populations are declining worldwide. At Gisou, it is our main focus to support bee populations in any way possible. Contrary to the belief that bees only thrive in rural areas, beehives in urban areas produce healthier bees because they have access to greater biodiversity and are not exposed to the harsh chemicals often used in agriculture.
As such, urban beekeeping is one way through which the health of bee populations can be strengthened. Aside from that, urban beehives contribute to the health of cities - trees, shrubs, gardens and parks wouldn’t exist, let alone thrive in urban areas without healthy bees to pollinate them. Urban beekeeping doesn’t just support healthy bee populations, but also the communities the urban bees live in.
The Gisou Bees Project
For The Gisou Bees Project, we work together with local beekeepers who look after the Gisou bees on our behalf. Not only do we support urban bee populations this way, but we also support local beekeepers who continuously care for the bees and raise awareness in their local communities.
As we place our Gisou urban beehives in a city to improve the health of the city’s ecosystem, we therefore concurrently aim to carry out part of our mission - to raise awareness for the importance of bees.
The Bees Project in Paris
To launch our first Gisou Bees Project in June 2019, we brought a piece of the Mirsalehi Bee Garden to Paris by installing the honorary ‘Gisou at Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées Beehives’ on top of the urban rooftop garden of BHV (part of the Groupe Galeries Lafayette).
Today, our beehives in Paris contribute to the health of the Parisian ecosystem as they remain under the care of seasoned urban beekeeper, Gaël Cartron from Sous Les Fraises. The hives at BHV are surrounded by the urban Sous Les Fraises rooftop garden.
The Bees Project in New York
In New York City, we chose to work with beekeeper Andrew Coté, president of the New York City Beekeepers Association and founder of Andrew's Honey. In August 2019, we installed Gisou Beehives on a rooftop near Union Square together during our Take Out & Refill Pop-Up.
The installation of our beehives took place on August 17th 2019, in honour of National Honey Bee Day. Andrew Cote continues to care for the Gisou Beehives on our behalf, helping us to contribute to the livelihood of the bees and the overall urban ecosystem of New York City.
This bee season, Andrew added new hives, as the bees started to swarm meaning that the colony is thriving and expanding!
The Bees Project in Melbourne
After our first beehives in Paris and New York, what better way to launch our third Gisou Beehive than with our fellow beekeeper Nicholas Dowse AKA @honey_fingers - an extraordinary beekeeper in Melbourne, Australia who’s efforts we’ve admired for years. Together, Nic and fellow beekeeper Georgah (@georgahcrane) take care of the Gisou bees on a rooftop in Fitzroy, Melbourne.
Honey Fingers is more than an urban beekeeping network - it’s a creative project that explores the intersections between farming, food, art, history, design and education, with bees taking the center stage.
The Next Step
Moving forward, our intent is to expand the Gisou Bees Project to other cities around the world. By placing our urban beehives in any city, we contribute to the health and beauty of its ecosystem, show our support for urban beekeeping efforts and aim to raise awareness for not only urban beekeeping initiatives, but the welfare of bees overall.
Keep an eye out on our Instagram to stay updated about The Gisou Bees Project!