Bee-Keepers Have New York’s Ecosystem Buzzing

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 14,516
    New York is home to a thriving bee-keeping community whose goal is to maintain a sustainable urban ecosystem for plants, animals, and humans.

    Stephen Digges: Since 2006 there has been a continuous rise in the number of disappearances of honey bee colonies. The mass deaths are afflicting beekeepers worldwide.

    Recently, New Yorkers have taken it upon themselves to contribute to their environment and setup New York City's first beekeeper's association.

    Andrew Cote: I think there are a lot of people in New York City and many urban areas are looking to connect to nature. You see an uptake in community gardens, and I think that this box can be a little box of comb in a praisy urban landscape.

    David Graves: I started keeping bees here in the mid 90s, at that time it was legal to keep bees. In 1999 that law changed. It came into being that it was illegal to keep honeybees on roof tops.

    Stephen Digges: Because of the bees major pollinators, urban gardeners and roof top farmers have wrong belief that operating illegally was not just worth the possible price but crucial to their fellow citizen's health.

    Norman Cote: One of the benefits is pollination, community gardens, they are getting better vegetables; they are getting bigger vegetables. Also honey is -- people are getting their own local honey.

    Stephen Digges: On January 17th 2010 the Board of Health and Mental Hygiene voted that honey bees could be kept legally within city limits.

    Although this monumental decision was concluded, a variety of complications have risen with New York City's beekeeping craze.

    David Graves: The illegalization of beekeeping here in New York City you have lot more beekeepers, so I'm concerned about the depletion of food of nectar sources. But there is a remedy to that may be we could start planting things that attract honeybees like lavender, thyme, on roof tops, on all of this wasted space.

    One day wouldn't it be nice to fly over New York and see just a blue landscape, all lavender that would solve the problem. That may be dreaming but the Wright Brothers dreamed too, now didn't they?

    Stephen Digges: This is Stephen Digges from New York.