It’s pretty obvious that whether or not New Yorkers like bees, bees love NYC. Hardly a day goes by without a news story about a swarm of bees that has got itself into some unsuitbale New York space. In other words there’s lots of bees in the city and the question is are these bees that drop by for a visit or has they been bought here and somehow escaped.
The reality is whether or not the bees like NYC, the city very much needs bees. There’s lots of parks, gardens and trees and bees are vey important for their health because of the importance of the pollinating they do as they go about their bee business. And while there are certainly a lot of wild swarms of bees, witness all those news stories, many of the bees in the city belong to bee hives that have been set up quite deliberately to support a vigorous bee population. However permission for residents to keep bees in the city is relatively new. Up until a few years ago beekeeping in the city was illegal, so all the bees who did the pollinating must have belonged to wild swarms. Now the non aggresssive kind of bee, the Apil Mellifera is allowed to be kept. It is thought there are 400+ beehives in the city with the numbers increasing of a lot over the last couple of years.
Places where it is known beehives are kept are Intercontinental The Barclay Hotel, the Waldorf Astoria, which features in the video, York Prep School, Brooklyn Navy Yard and the Bank of America Tower, NYC. David Graves who sells honey at New York greenmarkets has 7 hives scattered around Brooklyn, the Bronx and Manhattan. He got a lot of volunteers when he advertised for beehive space at his grennmarket stalls so people are very happy to ahve bees on their rooftops.
There is a NYC Beekeepers Association New York Beekeepers, and they will give you lots of information and training if you want to take up this absorbing hobby. An individual hive can usually produce about 50 pounds of honey per year, so you are either going to make a little money on the side or have a lot of very happy friends.
Meanwhile a NYC lady who recently discovered she had 50,000 bees in her condo ceiling has bid farewell and the bees have been happily resettled upstate which is a pity because they bring so much to NYC. But it’s also nice to have a choice about where they decide to live.