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‘Vegan honeybees’ take up residence on roof of The Cheesecake Factory in Clarendon

The Crossing Clarendon is buzzing with activity.

The mixed-use shopping and residential center formerly known as Market Common Clarendon is now home to tens of thousands of honeybees.

“We’ve been busy bees at The Crossing Clarendon!” the center said in a Facebook post. “In partnership with Alvéole, we’re so excited to announce our newest tenants… a honeybee hive.”

The hives are located on the rooftop of The Cheesecake Factory, and were installed by Alvéole urban beekeepers on Oct. 15.

There are two hives with a total of 24,000 bees. Alvéole has a special webpage where curious Arlingtonians can keep up with the bees.

“These vegan honeybees are helping change perspectives of our urban environment and reconnecting our community to the wonders of nature,” The Clarendon Crossing said.

Alvéole is an urban beekeeping company that helps businesses, schools and organizations install honey bee hives on their rooftops and increase engagement and sustainability. It installs hives in cities in the U.S., Canada and Europe.

Over the past 15 years honeybee colonies in the U.S. have seen large annual declines due to disease, pesticide use and habitat loss, and something called colony collapse disorder. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, however, said recently that the average number of honeybee colonies actually increased over the past decade, after reaching a low point in 2008.

Urban beekeeping efforts like this one in Clarendon are intended to help.

“Our goal is to make people fall in love with bees, build ecological awareness, and in time, more sustainable cities and food systems,” says the Alvéole website.

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