There are bees on the roof deck at Brookfield

When Brookfield sent a press release on its sustainability efforts, I just had to see the bees. (They also have bins at the bottom of the marina that collect floating garbage — last year they pulled out 400 pounds of trash.)

Turns out there are two hives on the roof of 225 Liberty that house about a hundred thousand bees — and they are living right next to the roof deck for the building’s employees.

The hives are maintained by a company called Alveole, which installs honey bee hives on urban rooftops for schools and businesses along with a turnkey beekeeping service and workshops. (I’m not sure why a residential building couldn’t also use the service…)

I got to go to the workshop, which was held for employees, and the beekeepers pulled out the trays, showed us the queens, explained how the bees work their magic.

Bee keeping became a big trend during the pandemic — it’s only been legal to keep bees in the city since 2010 — but there is significant debate about the ecological benefits of honey bee keeping vs. natural pollinators. Either way, these guys are cool. They don’t have any interest in the people on the roof — their one purpose is to grab some pollen and bring it back to the hive, and they use an internal GPS tracking system to do it. (Unlike wasps, which will look for sugar anywhere — a beer, an ice cream cone.) In fact, if you move they hive they won’t find it — they are programmed to come back to a specific location. The queen lays 2000 eggs a day in those little hexagons that they make by excreting beeswax and forming it into the must efficient shape.

The worker bees can also fly up to 3 miles and return with twice their body weight in pollen and nectar.

The beekeepers will harvest the honey later this month and bring it back in October.



  1. I would never have thought this location for beekeeping.

  2. I work at 225 Liberty. There’s a roof deck?!?!