Nashville Music City Center Abuzz With 100,000 Bees On Roof

Posted at 10:30 PM, Jun 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-09 02:20:21-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville's Music City Center is now home to 100,000 bees as part of the venue's sustainability initiative.

The convention center announced Monday that it has added four hives of European honeybees to its four acre green roof.

Officials expect the bees will produce 360 pounds of honey annually beginning in spring 2016.

Jamie Meredith has been keeping an eye on the bees as the Music City Center's official beekeeper.

"It's just real exciting and it gives me an opportunity to talk to people about bees and explain why they are so important," said Meredith. "Having bees up here just shows they support the idea of keeping sustainability in the forefront of everyone's mind."

Half the honey will be used by Center's culinary team. The other half will be bottled and given to clients for promotional use.

"It's going to be great because it is going to be right from our roof," said Max Knoepfel, Executive Chef at the Music City Center. " We look forward to telling our clients about it."

Officials said the honeybees will fly up to a mile away to gather pollen. This means much of Nashville can benefit from the help of the bees, which fertilize about 85 percent of plants.

The honeybee population has been in decline recently. Urban beekeeping may help sustain bee populations across the country.

"Every hive we establish is one hive closer to ensuring bees continue to grow," said Meredith.

The project is based on a similar setup on a building in Vancouver, British Columbia.

(Copyright 2015 by NewsChannel 5 and The Associated Press.)