The whole idea of using rooftops of building to double up for bee keeping has been something which has been on our minds at Ronin Wines.
The core of the idea is to set up boxes by charging a fixed amount per month during the bee keeping seasons; and in return we look after them, replace the bees incase they swarm away/die and in return we offer the society/building some ‘pin-code honey’ or mead equivalent as a thank you to having supported bee. This idea is not our own - we saw it first in some articles
Absolutely do. For example, we know of a bee keeper in Pune who, during the season, visits 2-3 societies a day, only to remove unwanted hives. He has a full team and he mentioned he could do more if he had more people.
As for the main topic, the problem we are aware is that people are afraid of the bees. The bees one typically see in societies and offices are Apis Dorsata - these guys are aggressive and sting when provoked. What one could do is deploy Apis Mellifera or Apis Indica variety of bees which are more docile (they still can sting) and ideal for hobby bee keeping also. So this will involve some eduction…
Our vested interest in all this - we get a chance to push the Moonshine brand into societies under the “Moonshine Honey Project” brand.
Yes, brand building is a definite yes. But along with that, it gives us an opportunity to bump up some awareness around honey and the bee. This link has a bunch of other good stuff that comes us urban bee keeping (Urban Beekeeping Problems and Benefits)
But there are risks too. By promoting urban bee keeping with the honey producing bees, you are also hurting the local solitary bee populace (like the bumble bee) which BTW are the lesser known, but the major contributors to cross pollination. One way to solve for this is to provide them homes by hollowing out a bamboo and simply putting it in various places around a set space. Solitary bees unlike the regular bees need spaces to build a hive and with the ever increasing concrete jungle in cities, this is something which is hard to come by (unlike their honey bee cousins). There are some buildings which consciously build a hollowed out brick/brick with holes within a wall to provide refuge to these fellows.