Friday, December 18, 2009

NYC Health Dept. Says "Let It Bee".....

Photo (Lexi Van de Walle): Bee Rally, City Hall, NYC, Sept. 2009

If you've been following New York City food politics, you know that food advocates have been working hard to legalize beekeeping in the five boroughs and dreaming about honey flavors such as Central Park, Hell's Kitchen, and Flatbush Avenue.

Yesterday, the health department took a step towards overturning code that claims honey bees are wild animals (along with tigers and ferrets) by agreeing, preliminarily, to permit hives on rooftops and in backyard and community gardens. A second vote will be needed in March 2010 (which should include some kind of licensing requirement).

Despite the regulations, beekeeping has become popular with meet up groups, workshops, and the like. The New York City Beekeepers Association has taken the lead on classes (2010 courses will be posted on their site soon) and has an
extensive list of resources for urban beekeepers.

Honey bees are critical for food agriculture for pollination, and with the explosive growth of fruit and vegetable production in the city, there's plenty of work for honey bees.

Read more about beekeeping, City Hall Bee Rally, Just Food's Beekeepers Ball and more in prior posts on

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