It wasn’t the bees that were illegal, it was the keeping of bees that until recently could lead to a fine from the NYC health department. But in a recent vote, New York City’s board of health lifted a ban against beekeeping and made legal all the hidden hive-keepers.
Honeybees are important pollinators, and the welfare of the species has been recently threatened by mites and colony collapse disorder. An increase in bees being kept in diverse circumstances is good not only for the bees but also for the plants that depend on bees for their pollination. And for the people that depend on the plants that depend on the bees for pollination.
Here in DC, an uptick in interest in beekeeping is connected to an overall interest in food security. Having beehives at the White House garden also helped.
Community gardens being installed at all 56 DC Recreation Centers will include beehives and a recent urban beekeeping course offered by DC Parks and Rec was filled to beyond capacity. It’s just, well, the bee’s knees.