Friday, March 19, 2010

600 Beekeepers in New York City!

AOL News is reporting New York City lifted it's ban on keeping honeybee hives earlier this week. I've already voiced my opinions on how stupid this is. My argument boils down to central park not providing a year long succession of blooms. Especially when you consider what's said at the end of the article.

There reportedly are about 600 beekeepers in the city.
WOW! That number sounds so exaggerated it's hard to believe. To put that in perspective, all of New Jersey has roughly 2,000 registered beekeepers, (give or take 100). Even with our lush underdeveloped areas with assorted blooming flora, we have to rinse out everything that goes into our recycling bin or our hives start dumpster diving for old soda and cat food. I can only imagen what the 600 or so hives are bringing in as "nectar" in the city. A good hive can bring in 100lbs of honey in a year, and foragers travel up to 6 miles away from the hive. I've driven through New York before and there's virtually nothing in the city besides central park.

Beekeepers who live along the edge might get nectar from the vast suburban area that is as far as the eye can see but there can't be that much there. Homes in this suburban areas are tiny 1 story, probably 3 rooms, with a patch of lawn smaller than the family car. There seemed to be a ban on trees too. While I'm sure some of these homes have flowers, it's hard to imagen them supporting 600 hives.

The article tags something on the end about city beekeepers doing this to be environmentally friendly. They want to help fight CCD.

The world is not all bright for North American bees, however, as researchers still struggle with finding the cause of colony collapse disorder, a mysterious syndrome that has been eviscerating bee populations since it was first identified in 2006.
My god it's like no one has YouTube or something!

The environmentally friendly thing for people in the city would be to "green" the city with native plants. This doesn't include lawns. Having to mow the lawn someone planted on top of an 8 story building is stupid and making more pollution than clean air! Lawns are places for people to play, walk, and enjoy the sport of golf; they're well groomed achievements of controlling a highly invasive plant and don't have anything to do with environmentalism other than composting. Lush prairie plants, flowering trees, native shrubs and living walls are what they should be going for. Food crops for humans, and even berry plants for passing birds, would have to be done in raised beds. City soil tends to be teaming with heavy metals.

In a world where Google Maps is taking satellite images of everything, I never understood why companies don't advertise on the roof of their building. A rooftop garden with flowers to form the company logo is an excellent idea in todays world.

If nothing else comes from this I hope that beekeepers of New York demand stricter standards on recycling and help green the city up more with excellent nectar sources. Sadly though beekeepers tend to be part of the problem when it comes to planting invasive like Purple Loosestrife, which are an excellent source of nectar but do awful things to the environments they infest.