Legalize Beekeeping!

February 17, 2009

I got an interesting note from Lou of the Gotham City Beekeepers today:

You may not have known, or even cared, but beekeeping is illegal in NYC.

This became a problem for a number of different efforts to raise veggies in various community gardens and urban farming experiments. Suddenly, beekeepers were in demand, but we were considered to be slightly less socially acceptable than skateboarders.

There is now a bill before the NYC City Council to legalize it, so we (a formerly somewhat low-profile set of people) have filed a non-profit registration, formed a Co-Op, and put up a web site:

I didn’t know it, and I find it amazing, if not surprising. Apparently, bees in New York are considered “dangerous animals, naturally inclined to do harm or capable of inflicting harm”. (If you gives you any perspective on the ridiculously of this claim, my hives are about 10′ from my deck, where I regularly have dozens of people over for bbq’s. Haven’t had a guest stung yet.)

So visit their web site and sign their petition. They’re also offering free classes on rooftop beekeeping, underway now (not sure if it’s too late to sign up).

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