PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Four hives on the roof of the Duquesne Club in Downtown Pittsburgh contain about 75,000 very busy bees.

The club’s executive chef, Keith Coughenour, borrows honey from the bees, in return for providing them with wildflowers to refill their pollen sacks.

“We know, of course, how to use honey, and what it tastes like through our cooking and our recipes,” he says. “But to actually raise the bees, see the honey produced, actually harvesting it, is a whole other realm for us.”

Duquesne Club chefs were taught the art of beekeeping by a nonprofit urban agriculture group called ‘Burgh Bees.

The steady buzz is music to the ears of environmentalists. But the latest issue is not about the droning, but the zoning.

It appears that the exclusive club on Sixth Avenue may be stung by a shortage of necessary paperwork.

Tim McNulty, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, says the club needs to get a zoning variance.

“Any time you build for animals in Downtown Pittsburgh, whether they’re chickens or pigs or bees, you have to get zoning approval,” he says.

‘Burgh Bees President Steve Repasky says his group has been working to simplify the city ordinance on beekeeping.

As for the bees on the roof, McNulty says, “The city’s totally in favor of this kind of thing. I think it’s a great idea. You just have to follow the rules.”

Bottom line: the rooftop residents are not likely to be evicted from the hive.

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