Were There Any Animal Casualties of the Notre-Dame Cathedral Fire?

There are approximately 200,000 bees living in three hives on the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris sacristy, located on the south side of the cathedral, about 98 feet (30 m) below the main roof. They were feared to have been killed when a devastating fire tore through the Paris landmark’s upper roof rafters on 15 April 2019. However, temperatures never got high enough to melt the hives, and the abundance of smoke only put the bees to sleep. The insects were living on the Notre-Dame roof as part of an effort to help conserve bee populations.

What's the buzz in Paris?

  • Beekeepers use smoke to sedate bees when they need to gain access to a hive. It is believed that smoke interferes with the release of pheromones that bees emit to warn the hive about nearby danger.

  • Urban beekeeping is popular in Paris, and hives are plentiful. Bees can be found on top of the Opera Garnier and the Musée d'Orsay, and in the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens.

  • Nicolas Geant, the Notre-Dame beekeeper since 2013, was thrilled to see that the bees survived. "Thank goodness the flames didn't touch them," Geant exclaimed. "It's a miracle!"

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More Info: Smithsonian magazine

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Post 1

You made my day reading about the bees who survived on the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris sacristy located on the south side of the cathedral. The smoke put them to sleep but the flames never touched them.

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