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Brooklyn’s thriving hives produce thousands of pounds of honey annually

Mickey Hegedus raises bees but also offers a swarm-removal service (Photo courtesy of Mickey Hegedus)

Currently, the city has 91 registered beekeepers maintaining 285 hives, more than 100 of them in Brooklyn and a similar number in Queens.

By Angelica Frey
The Bridge
October 31, 2017

Excerpt:

Mimi Chan, a web designer who lives in Fort Greene, took up beekeeping after losing her backyard garden (along with the house) in a divorce. Her cousin gave her the idea, pointing out an upcoming class in beekeeping. “She thought it would help me get over losing my garden. I enrolled in the class and fell in love with beekeeping,” Chan recalls. “That was 5 years ago, and I’ve been beekeeping ever since.” She now keeps two beehives in her backyard, chronicling their activity on Instagram.

One might suspect that bees, normally associated with orchards and fields, would find it rough in the big city. But the opposite is true. Urban bees enjoy a good quality of life for several reasons. One is job stability; their hives aren’t moved around from crop to crop like those used in commercial agriculture. Another is the city’s smorgasbord of flower gardens and street trees. But probably the biggest benefit is the relative lack of agriculture pesticides. Most city gardeners go easy on bug spray, with some exceptions. “I’ve had seasons when the whole hive has died because of neighbors using pesticide,” said Chan. “It’s a very difficult thing to watch.” Pesticides have been among the factors blamed for Colony Collapse Disorder, a loss of bees plaguing the agricultural industry.

Read the complete article here.

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