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Honey Bee Green Roof Added to Baltimore Skyline

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There's a buzz of new activity over on the roof of the Resource Conservation Technology icehouse in Baltimore's eastern warehouse district. Led by Green Roof Service and ADI Architecture and Design Inc. the site is now the of the region's first green roofs designed to attract honey bees.

Volunteers and honey bee enthusiasts took to the roof to help create the new habitat.

"One of the greatest threats to honey bee populations today is the destruction of habitat due to urban sprawl," says Diane Odell (ADI), beekeeper and the garden's designer. To help remedy this, the honey bee green roof features 5,500 square feet of plantings honey bees love to support the small hive provided by State Beekeeper Oliver Snyder III.

To make the rooftop garden possible, special engineering and the use of modern green roof technology was needed. "The end result is a light weight vegetated structure that slows and contains contaminated storm-water reducing runoff, reduces air-borne pollutants, protects the roof from damaging UV rays, and better insulates the roof, reducing heating and cooling," says Kat Harrold, accredited Green Roof Professional. 

The green roof will also have a cooling effect on the surrounding area. "As water travels through the growing media, roots, and exits through the leaves it creates a cooling effect much like when one sweats. On a sunny day this can reduce the air temperature on the roof by about 10 degrees," says Jorg Breuning, 30-year green roof designer and owner of Green Roof Service. 

A  wide variety of flowering plants ranging from bulbs to small trees were used to create the unique habit necessary to keep the honey bees happy. The specially selected vegetation provides continuous bloom from February to November.

"The installation was a great success," commented Diane Odell. "I can't wait for the spring when everything has been established and starts to bloom."
Source: Green Roof Service
Writer: Walaika Haskins
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