Why the Notre Dame Cathedral has a beehive on its roof

By Herb Scribner

A massive fire blazed through the upper reaches of the Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, which threatened one of the world’s most recognizable architectural feats, according to The Associated Press.

France’s Interior Ministry said Monday that firefighters might not be able to save the structure from the fire. The building’s spire collapsed from the blaze. By Monday afternoon, officials said Notre Dame was saved from total destruction, CNBC reports.

Flames shot out from the roof as well.

Something you might not know: The cathedral’s roof includes a hive of bees, which was placed there in 2013, according to the cathedral’s website. It’s unclear if the beehive survived the flames.

USA Today reported that the “hive was placed as part of a larger effort to protect biodiversity and prevent bee die-off.”

Photographer Eric Tourneret has a number of photos of the beehive on the roof.

According to The New York Times, beehives have been thriving on the spires of Notre Dame. The city of Paris has seen a rise in beekeeping. Much of the honey produced by the bees ends up being given to the poor people of the city.