Viewer mail: Bees in a Paris park

A reader writes:
Hey Beekeepers:

Friends traveling in Europe sent the attached from the Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. I agree with them that these hives are stylish, and a closer look at the photo above is worth the time. Here's a detail:

Kirk, next time you’re in Paris ask them if those basket-like things are skeps—and what are the tin things in the fire pit?

George B.

The Jardin du Luxembourg (aka Luxembourg Gardens) is the second largest public park in Paris. Amy and I got to wander through it last October, and we came across this very apiary. The public walking path leads right up to it, and there appears to be a very peaceful coexistence between people and bees.