Buzzing beehives started to appear across the city once the decade-long ban on keeping common honeybees was lifted in New York City in 2010. Following worldwide trends in innovative urban agriculture, NYC now boasts hundreds of independently maintained beehives. Years of work may be paying off, as this year’s busy swarm season could be a sign that honeybees are making a comeback after years of declining populations around the world.
There are plenty of ways to support urban beekeeping in New York City:
- Check out a compilation of the city’s hives and the people who love ‘em. The New York Times is currently collecting photos and information about beehives around the city. Send in a photo in, or just stayed tuned for a publication of the best entries.
- The next meeting of the New York City Beekeepers Association is scheduled for August 7th and will feature beekeeper and author Tammy Horn. This organization is an important resource if you’re considering starting your own hive. In fact, registration of hives with the NYC Department of Health is mandatory!
- Not sure if the beekeeping life is for you? Learn more before you take the leap with an organic beekeeping class in Brooklyn.
- If you care about bees but don’t have the time or money to start your own hive, you might consider signing up to volunteer as a Bee Watcher with the Great Pollinator Project. The Project is looking for volunteers to track the presence of different bees throughout the city, as well as strong pollinator plants.
- If you’re not quite ready for an up close and personal experience, consider an upcoming event or lecture. On Monday, June 25, Kim Flottum will present “The Buzz about Bees and the Future of Food” at 6 pm at The Arsenal in Central Park.
- Finally, if the laissez-faire approach is more your thing, consider buying local honey, available at many greenmarkets throughout the city. Debates continue about whether or not local honey is helpful in curbing seasonal allergies, but one thing’s for sure: supporting local hives helps keep the world’s bees buzzing!
Photos (top and center): The New York Times
Photo (bottom): Great Pollinator Project