Urban Beekeeping is More Than Just Buzz

Bee-lovers around the city are buzzing with the news regarding the potential legalization of urban beekeeping in the city.

Beekeeping is a hobby deemed illegal by city-wide health codes banning "the possession, keeping, harboring and selling of "venomous insects" (that includes bees)," reports Serious Eats.

However, City Council member David Yassky has introduced a bill calling for a licensing system for beekeeping enthusiasts, given them the right to keep hives, procure honey, and eventually, help bring back the bee population in New York City. The city reportedly has a high variation of species (over 200, says the Times) but just not many actual bees.

At the New York City Beekeeping Meetup Group, membership has been expanding drastically since its founding in April 2006. On the group's webpage, organizers write "we've had so many members from Manhattan and the other boroughs join us that we are now "The New York City Beekeeping Meetup." They go on to clarify, "our purpose remains the same: to turn people on to this exciting endeavor and increase the honeybee population in New York City, especially now, a time when bees are disappearing at an alarming rate."

Last April, the Times asked "What is happening to the bees?" in an article about the loss of "tens of billion of bees," due to the bees just getting lost on their way back to the hive. Urban beekeepers are hoping, with the passage of Councilman Yassky's bill, that they can help the bees find their way home - to their rooftops.

New to the game? There's even a basic urban beekeeping course starting in March that will "teach you everything you need to know to safely start and maintain a beehive." Sign me up.

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