Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Urban Beekeeping

An interesting article on growing honey bees in the city. It's now legal in some places. I know someone who has a beehive in his suburban garage, with a little hole in the back wall for them to come and go.

In particular, one beekeeper interviewed says that, if you grow bees, you start thinking like a bee and want to transform the landscape to make it more bee-friendly. If there's a beekeeper in the neighborhood, fruit trees bear more fruit, including arctic kiwi--a frost tolerant version of the fruit that grows in northern latitudes. (A friend tells me at least one Princeton resident is growing them--kiwis, that is--with very good results.) Bees, then, can help in the process of re-imagining a neighborhood.

I was surprised to learn, back in the early '90s when the honeybee population crashed due to an introduced mite, that honey bees are not native to America. The photo, from a 2008 post, shows a couple honeybees mixed with some native pollinators on the flowers of boneset, a native wildflower that becomes the insect world's favorite food court every August.

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