New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Category — Bees

One hive at a time, backyard beekeepers try saving Detroit, the world

Keith Crispen, 32, of Detroit, left, and Timothy Paule, 34, of Detroit started a nonprofit called Detroit Hives that transformed a vacant lot on the east side of Detroit to a bee hive and future farm. (Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell, Detroit Free Press)

Mike Hansen, the state apiarist who oversees commercial bee inspections, said unofficial estimates of the number of people in Michigan with beehives on rooftops and in backyards range from about 3,000 to 10,000.

By Frank Witsil
Detroit Free Press
March 14, 2018

Excerpt:

The Detroiter hopes to add as many as 200 hives in the city in the next decade through his nonprofit, Detroit Hives, by buying vacant Detroit lots, making deals with socially conscious companies to sponsor hives and teaching other people, including schoolchildren, about bees.

“If all bees were to die, we’d all die in four to five years,” Paule, 34, said. “It’s a very serious issue.”

[Read more →]

March 19, 2018   Comments Off on One hive at a time, backyard beekeepers try saving Detroit, the world

Black Beekeepers Are Transforming Detroit’s Vacant Lots Into Bee Farms

“Work hard, stay bumble” is their nonprofit motto.

By Philip Lewis
Black Voices
Huffpost
Jan 30, 2018

Excerpt:

A pair of Detroit natives have decided to combat neighborhood blight in a pretty sweet way — by transforming abandoned vacant lots in their city into honeybee farms.

Detroit Hives, a nonprofit organization founded by Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey in 2017, purchases vacant properties and remodels them into fully functioning bee farms.

[Read more →]

February 16, 2018   Comments Off on Black Beekeepers Are Transforming Detroit’s Vacant Lots Into Bee Farms

The Observation Hive Handbook

Studying Honey Bees at Home

By Frank Linton
Foreword by Clarence H. Collison
Cornell University Press
Comstock Publishing Associates
15 September 2017

This book will guide you in selecting an observation hive and choosing a site for it, modifying the hive and the site as needed, installing the hive, working with the hive, and maintaining the hive. It will prepare you to take a temporary portable observation hive to a market, fair, or school. Most important, it describes and illustrates the many ways you can use your observation hive to learn more about honey bees and how to care for them.

[Read more →]

February 3, 2018   Comments Off on The Observation Hive Handbook

‘The Ranch At Dogtown’ in West Oakland

Our very own Extractor!…surely making possible more honey processing faster.

Known more for freeways than flowers, West Oakland’s urban environment can be a safer place for bees than agricultural areas, where crops are often sprayed with neonicotinoids.

by Cirrus Wood
Hoodline
Nov 20, 2017

Excerpt:

“We have a microclimate here that’s just really good for bees,” said Porter, owner of the Ranch at Dogtown, a 1.5-acre parcel she’s transformed into an urban farm.

“We call it the ranch because we have a big garden and chickens,” she said, along with fifty to sixty thousand honeybees.

[Read more →]

November 27, 2017   Comments Off on ‘The Ranch At Dogtown’ in West Oakland

Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

Hotel Brisbane bees.

Five years later, looking after the 150 hives he now has around greater Brisbane and northern New South Wales is a full-time job.

By Rachel Clun
Brisbane Times
November 2011

Excerpt:

But for the cafes and corporate companies that now host beehives, Mr Stone said they have found it very rewarding.

“They produce about 200 kilograms (of honey) per hive per year, which allows them to do quite a bit from their rooftop,” he said.

“Instead of giving out a branded pen they give a 500-gram jar of honey to their most-cherished customers.”

[Read more →]

November 17, 2017   Comments Off on Australia: Sky-high beekeeping and small-scale farming no problem for inner-city Brisbane

Urban Refuge: How Cities Can Help Rebuild Declining Bee Populations

If everyone in a city of a million people planted even one pollinator-friendly plant,” she says, “there would be a million more foraging opportunities for bees.”

By Janet Marinelli
Yale Environment 360
November 9, 2017

Excerpt:

Few scientists believe that urban habitats are a panacea for bee conservation, although they do support some important populations. In the words of Tina Harrison of Rutgers University, who studies the homogenization of bee communities in disturbed landscapes, “Pollinators that are successful in cities are often very common in other habitats in the surrounding region,” and a focus on conserving them could divert much-needed funds from efforts to protect vulnerable bees. Conserving regionally rare or specialist bees that have found a refuge in cities, though, is probably a good idea, she says.

[Read more →]

November 15, 2017   Comments Off on Urban Refuge: How Cities Can Help Rebuild Declining Bee Populations

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.

[Read more →]

November 6, 2017   Comments Off on Brooklyn’s thriving hives produce thousands of pounds of honey annually

UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

Merry Little Tales for merry little hearts. 1856. Click image to see larger file.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average

By Katie Morley
Telegraph
Oct 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Honeybees in cities and suburban areas are producing more honey than those in rural areas, figures show, amid fears that the species is in grave decline.

Urban rooftop and suburban garden bees produced 27.5 lbs of honey per hive this year on average, according to a survey by the British Beekeepers Association. This compares to rural gardens, which produced an average of 22.5 lbs of honey per hive, around a fifth less.

Previous research has shown that honeybees in towns and cities enjoy a more diverse diet and find a richer diversity of pollen. This is because they visit a much wider range of flowers than bees foraging in the countryside.

[Read more →]

October 28, 2017   Comments Off on UK: Bees do better in the city than the countryside because of their ‘varied diet’

Bees are in decline but backyard hives won’t save them

Hiroaki. Home at Ichinokura. Before 1936.

Some experts say the trend of backyard beekeeping could at best do little to save bees, and at worst leave certain species worse off

By Catherine McIntyre
MacLeans
September 23, 2017

Excerpt:

Beekeeping is a hot quarter of the urban agriculture trend sweeping the country’s gentrifying neighbourhoods. Compelled by warnings of declining pollinator numbers, city dwellers have been planting bee-friendly gardens, petitioning the government to ban harmful insecticides (specically neonicotinoids, the oft-cited bee nemesis) and—most ambitiously—hosting backyard honey bees.

Just about every urban centre in Canada has at least one Toronto Honeys equivalent: there’s the Halifax Honey Bee Society; the Regina and District Bee Club; and, in Vancouver, Hives for Humanity. One company, Alveoli, has installed and manages hives on more than 600 commercial and residential properties in cities across the country.

[Read more →]

October 1, 2017   Comments Off on Bees are in decline but backyard hives won’t save them

The Book of Bees!

Who survived being stung by 2,443 bees? This book answers all these questions and many more.

By Piotr Socha (Author), Wojciech Grajkowski (Author)
Thames & Hudson Ltd
(Sept. 22 2016)

From the Book bag:

The Book of Bees may look like a typical picture book, but it has a lot buzzing underneath the surface. It is adapted from the original Polish book Pszczoly. Packed to the brim with bee facts and figures and accompanied by the wonderful comic-style artwork of Piotr Socha, the book is an odd amalgam: part coffee table book/ nature encyclopaedia/factfile/picture book. Don’t be fooled by its simple cover; The Bee Book is a treasure trove of information just waiting to ‘bee’ harvested!

[Read more →]

September 1, 2017   Comments Off on The Book of Bees!

Canada: General Mills ‘Bring Back the Bees’ campaign has created controversy

Manitoba experts explain how to support bee populations after questions raised about free seed campaign

By Brett Purdy
CBC News
Mar 26, 2017

Excerpt:

A cereal company’s offer of free wildflower seeds to help bees has felt the sting of controversy online — but local experts say there are are other ways to support healthy bee populations in Manitoba.

As part of its “Bring Back the Bees” campaign, General Mills has offered free seed packets — from P.E.I.’s Veseys Seeds — on millions of boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios, with the intention of raising awareness about the importance of bees as pollinators.

[Read more →]

March 27, 2017   Comments Off on Canada: General Mills ‘Bring Back the Bees’ campaign has created controversy

First Honeybee Sanctuary Will Be In A Long Beach, California City Park



Willow Springs Park. Click on image for larger file.

To Barnes’ knowledge, this would be the only municipal honeybee sanctuary in the region, and possibly the state of California.

By Courtney Tompkins
Long Beach Press Telegram
Feb 7, 2017

Excerpt:

A backyard beekeeping club is on the verge of creating the first honeybee sanctuary in a Long Beach city park – thanks in part to a local attorney, who offered his expertise in exchange for honey.

The Long Beach Beekeepers has been working to build an educational center that doubles as a safe haven for unwanted hives at Willow Springs Park for nearly two years now, but a series of holdups and bureaucratic hurdles had repeatedly halted progress.

[Read more →]

February 12, 2017   Comments Off on First Honeybee Sanctuary Will Be In A Long Beach, California City Park

Los Angeles family is creating a zero-waste homestead with goats, chickens and bees


Choi Chatterjee spend time in her Altadena backyard.

She often gives neighbours fresh eggs and seeds. When the couple harvested 16 gallons of honey, they gave 10 gallons of it away.

By Lisa Boone
Los Angeles Times
Jan 19, 2017

Excerpt:

Their home’s transformation to urban homestead was pragmatic. When the couple wanted more compost to grow vegetables — squash, eggplant, tomatoes, collard greens and beets, among them — they added chickens to their backyard landscape.

When that didn’t generate enough compost, they added rabbits and two goats, Daisy and Blueberry, whom they initially bottle-fed.

[Read more →]

January 27, 2017   Comments Off on Los Angeles family is creating a zero-waste homestead with goats, chickens and bees

The new face of Canadian agriculture

wtwa
Tsawwassen Farm School is a unique educational program that is a collaboration between Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Tsawwassen First Nation and on TFN land. (Jean-Philippe Marquis)

Backyard chickens. One-acre market gardens. Rooftop bees. What used to be part of the rural landscape is creeping into the cement-and-steel terrain of Canada’s urban centres, creating an intersection of food, community and education.

By Nikki Wart
Macleans
Nov 3, 2016

Excerpts:

In the past year at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Agricultural College, 60 per cent of the applicants for the bachelor of science and agriculture program came from urban postal codes.

And few companies are doing it as well as Alvéole, a Montreal-based hive-keeping company founded in 2012.

“We’re basically setting up a hive and saying, ‘This is your hive, and you’re going to see food production and agriculture and environment through these bees,’ ” he says, adding that there are a lot of similarities between urban agriculture and traditional agriculture. For one, urban farmers still have to battle weather and disease.

[Read more →]

November 10, 2016   Comments Off on The new face of Canadian agriculture

Chicago’s Urban Beekeepers

ortz
Pedro Ortiz, an urban beekeeper, extracting his bees from the hive “supers” (drawers) to check for honey.

Urban beekeeping and agriculture continue to grow, but a lack of native bees and wild pollinators pose challenges for urban agriculture and the bee population.

By Ariel Parrella-Aureli
The Columbia Chronicle
Sept 19, 2016

Excerpt:

While the number of beekeepers is growing, bee populations are declining, Thompson said. He said most people will only think of honeybees, but there are several other wild pollinators, including bumblebees and wild butterflies, that are vital to crops but are dwindling.

“Those native bees are really threatened much worse than honeybees because their culture is very localized,” he said. “Those are really essential to our world, and people don’t understand they’re even here.”

[Read more →]

September 26, 2016   Comments Off on Chicago’s Urban Beekeepers