Did you think beekeeping is impossible in the city?

Many cities do have ordinances that ban keeping honeybees, but there is a move afoot to rescind these restrictive rules that are based on phobias rather than fact.

Good beekeepers keep gentle bees, and they manage them in such a way that they pose  minimal hazard to anyone. At the same time they pollinate people’s gardens and they fill an ecological niche that could be just as well filled by much more feisty bees.

Years ago I recall that a swarm of Africanized bees apparently came into one of Florida’s ports and quickly multiplied. By the time it was discovered, there were eight descendent colonies – guess where they went? Of course, seven of the eight went to communities where beekeeping was banned.

The New York Times published an interesting article about the comeback of urban/suburban beekeeping today.

While the article is quite informative, there is one piece of poor writing that makes me shudder – the article refers to “pesticides and herbicides.” Since herbicides ARE pesticides, just like insecticides, miticides and fungicides, the article makes little sense, unless you would be the kind of person who would say, “Christians and Baptists,” or “wood and oak.”

According to the article, one city, Minneapolis, is pretty much restricting the hobby to people of means, by imposing a $100 fee per hive for the keepers. Other cities have more sensible requirements.

Much of the movement is in the form of beekeeping clubs, which help individual members learn the best management techniques for their unique environments. It’s all a move to go back to a more natural way of living.


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