Bees find new home atop art museum in St. Pete

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Matt Davis and his wife, Allison are in the business of rescuing bees. They're the owners of Noble Nectar Apiaries in St. Petersburg. Where others see pests, they see potential - and with good reason.

"Bees are not aggressive by nature. We live side-by-side with bees more than most people would even realize," Matt explained.

A recent University of Florida study found Florida's bee population is in crisis due to a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD.

If bees continue to die at current rates, that could mean increased food prices and decreased availability.

"Bees are a necessary part of having food and actually a big part of our economic structure in this country," Matt said.

Now, with the help of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, Noble Nectar is expanding. The museum's rooftop may seem like an improbable place for an apiary, but now it's home to a colony of Matt's bees, which are ready to go out and pollinate St. Petersburg.

Museum marketing director Julie Wilson explained, "This October we are hosting an exhibition from an artist named Jennifer Angus. Part of her goal is to educate people on insects, including pollinators, and we really lucked out when one of our contacts here at the museum reached out to Noble Nectar Apiaries. They happened to have hives that needed homes."

What once seemed like a strange partnership could one day reverse the trend of colony collapse, with a little help from urban bees creating a buzz in St. Petersburg.


To learn more about Noble Nectars, visit