New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
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Category — Bees

Film: Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper

Portrait of an Urban Beekeeper from Steve Ellington on Vimeo.

A short documentary that follows the life of an urban beekeeper in Pittsburgh, PA.

Directed by Steve Ellington
Featuring Steve Repasky
(Must see. Mike.)

Excerpt from Meadow Sweet Apiaries:

Stephen Repasky – EAS Master Beekeeper, Author and Consultant

Stephen Repasky is a second generation beekeeper living in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a Certified Master Beekeeper through the Eastern Apicultural Society and also the current President for Burgh Bees, Pittsburgh’s Urban Beekeeping Organization as well as the 2nd Vice-President for the Pennsylvania State Beekeepers Association and sits on the Board of Directors for the American Beekeeping Federation. As Stephen began getting more involved with honey bees in the Pittsburgh area and beyond, the number of colonies also grew and the need for a formal name arose. Meadow Sweet Apiaries, was then established as the popularity of his honey, removal services and educational presentations grew.

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February 25, 2015   No Comments

City Bees Are Actually More Diverse Than Country Bees

beeredA honeybee visits a flower in Bath, England (Nick Upton).

Other pollinators don’t like urban areas as much as rural, but bees live in similar numbers across different landscapes

By Marissa Fessenden
Smithsonian.com
February 12, 2015

Excerpt:

Katherine Baldock, of the University of Bristol, surveyed pollinator abundance across 36 different sites that spanned farmland, nature reserves and urban areas. Her team counted honey bees, bumble bees and other flying pollinators. The group found that each area had about the same amount of total pollinators. Even though urban areas might not seem like the ideal place for flower-loving bees, those landscapes held more diverse bee species, though the other pollinators were less diverse and numerous. Baldock and her colleagues published their findings in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

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February 24, 2015   No Comments

The Living Landscape

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Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden

By Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy
Timber Press
2014

A home garden is often seen as separate from the natural world surrounding it. In truth, it is actually just one part of a larger landscape made up of many living layers. And the replacement of the rich layers of native flora with turf grass greatly diminishes a garden’s biological diversity and ecological function.

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February 18, 2015   No Comments

Honey on Tap Directly From Your Beehive!

It’s the beekeepers dream…

From their website:

Turn a tap and watch as pure fresh clean honey flows right out of the hive and into your jar. No mess, no fuss, no expensive processing equipment and the bees are hardly even disturbed.

“This really is a revolution, you can see into the hive, see when the honey is ready and take it away in such a gentle way.”

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February 17, 2015   No Comments

Complaints prompt Cambridge to evict synagogue’s bees

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Rabbi Liza Stern checked on her bees, mostly dormant now with the cold, which she keeps on the roof next to her synagogue in Cambridge. Photo by Joanne Rathe.

“We have children and pets, and it can be fatal. And her answer is, ‘Well, we have an EpiPen.’?”

By Billy Baker
Boston Globe
Nov 20, 2014

Excerpt:

She said they provide an educational component for children at the school, and offer a palpable connection to honey, which has an ancient symbolism in Judaism. For the Jewish new year, Stern presented homemade honey to the congregation, a tradition to symbolize a sweet new year.

The neighbors who oppose the hives say they respect all of this. But they say that the hives, how they were installed, and the impact they have had on the neighborhood are far from harmonious.

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November 28, 2014   Comments Off

Honeybees bring the sweetness of urban agriculture to Cleveland’s convention center

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Matt Del Regno, executive chef at the Cleveland Convention Center and resident beekeeper, shows off a frame containing a honey-laden honeycomb. Photo Steven Litt, The Plain Dealer.

St. Clair estimated that Cuyahoga County now has about 200 hobbyist beekeepers. Statewide, he said, there are about 5,500 – a number that grows every year.

By Steven Litt,
The Plain Dealer
November 13, 2014

Excerpt:

Matt Del Regno, executive chef for Levy Restaurants, the food service provider at the convention center, started keeping bees at the facility in mid-April.

Since then, he’s begun replacing commercially produced honey with his own extremely local product.

“You can taste the difference,” he said. “It’s a discernible difference.”

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November 20, 2014   Comments Off

10-year National Pollinator Strategy in England: New measures to protect pollinators

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The government has made an agreement with landowners including Network Rail and the Highways Agency to restore bee-friendly habitat throughout England.

By Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News
Nov 3, 2014

Excerpt:

To make space across an increasingly urban landscape for insects, the government has secured commitments from landowners including Network Rail and the Highways Agency, which has agreed to undertake work to “enhance the grassland” on its verges.

Mr Shardlow pointed out that these pollinator-friendly urban spaces were vital and he encouraged the public to help.

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November 4, 2014   Comments Off

Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive

beetime

“Bee populations are diminishing due to human impact”

By Mark L. Winston
Harvard University Press
August 2014

Being among bees is a full-body experience, Mark Winston writes—from the low hum of tens of thousands of insects and the pungent smell of honey and beeswax, to the sight of workers flying back and forth between flowers and the hive. The experience of an apiary slows our sense of time, heightens our awareness, and inspires awe. Bee Time presents Winston’s reflections on three decades spent studying these creatures, and on the lessons they can teach about how humans might better interact with one another and the natural world.

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September 15, 2014   Comments Off

Young citizen scientists reveal urban bee ‘surprise’

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Dallas Campbell with survey participant. BBC presenter Dallas Campbell said children were “natural-born scientists”.

A patch of lavender in a city centre sees more bumblebees than a patch in the country, according to preliminary results from a citizen science project

By Jonathan Webb
BBC News
Sept 9, 2014

Excerpt:

“Within cities, there are fewer floral resources,” said Dr Michael Pocock from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, who led the analysis of the data with colleague Dr Helen Roy.

“And so one of the likely explanations is that there’s a concentration effect – the bumblebees in the area are concentrated on floral resources which are provided through pots of lavender and beds of lavender.”

That isn’t necessarily bad news, Dr Roy added, because it suggests that planting more flowers in cities will help boost bumblebee numbers.

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September 13, 2014   Comments Off

First-ever New York City Honey Week Sept 8-14

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A Celebration Of The Busy Bees Who Pollinate The City That Never Sleeps

Honey-themed dinners featuring Chefs Angelo Romano & Katy Peetz as well as Max Sussman at The Cleveland

Honey tastings at Brooklyn Grange and Murray’s Cheese (with Marina Marchese)

A honey cooking class with Rebekah Peppler at Haven’s Kitchen

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August 24, 2014   Comments Off

Canadian parliamentary budget officer wants to put bees on Parliament Hill

parlJean-Denis Fréchette is the quintessential mild-mannered bureaucrat.

Fréchette also has his eye on the parcel of land west of Centre Block that famously used to foster stray felines.

Nick Taylor-Vaisey
Macleans
August 5, 2014

Excerpt:

Still, those hardy bees are hours away from Fréchette’s long-time residence in the nation’s capital, a distance that has turned the policy wonk into a wannabe urban farmer, one among a growing class of city dwellers who hope to bring the charms of the hinterland—be it chickens or bees—into heavily populated neighbourhoods. But he doesn’t hope to restrict bees to his own backyard: Fréchette wants to make a home for them on Parliament Hill. He says a rooftop in the area would make an ideal home for an apiary, similar to the sky-high hives atop the Fairmont Royal York hotel in Toronto or the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Laureen Harper might approve. The Prime Minister’s wife recently appeared stoic during a run-in with the Royal York’s famous bees.)

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August 22, 2014   Comments Off

Milross Community Garden celebrates honey bees in Vancouver

hives
Amacon’s Lilliana de Cotiis presents $10,000 cheque to Sarah Common from Hives for Humanity. Photo by Michael Levenston.

“Just having the community garden here is great, but having the hives here and the awareness that it raises about pollinators and the challenges facing honeybees is something else again,” said Melissa Howey.

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
July 14, 2014

Excerpt:

“We think these workshops are a great way to engage with the gardeners and with the public about honeybees and native pollinators as well,” said Shannon Common, community liaison with Hives for Humanity. “The gardens, the hives and the living walls we have been making here are a great demonstration of innovative use of urban space.”

Hives for Humanity maintains 40 of the garden boxes to act as a pollinator meadow, and a herb garden that is open to about 90 registered gardeners.

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July 15, 2014   Comments Off

Edmonton’s Northlands all abuzz over urban farm additions

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Kevin Kossowan de-weeds the garden at the Northlands Urban Farm on 79 Street and 113 Avenue on Wednesday. Photo by Trevor Robb/Edmonton Sun.

31,200 square-foot Northlands Urban Farm – 80,000 honey bees

By Trevor Robb
Edmonton Sun
June 25, 2014

Excerpt:

Joining the 31,200 square-foot Northlands Urban Farm — initiated in May in partnership with local companies Shovel & Fork and Lactuca Corp. — and its six linear miles of salad greens are four beehives, containing over 80,000 honey bees.

The urban beekeeping operation, which consists of four boxes with 10 frames inside, will be overseen by local beekeeper Patty Milligan. She is hoping to cultivate 60 to 120 pounds of dandelion honey this year and almost four times that in following years.

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July 6, 2014   Comments Off

‘City Farmer’ featured on Easy Organic Gardener Radio Show

easy
Listen here to archived recording.

With host Sheri Frey

Guest Michael Levenston
June 22, 2014

About Sheri:
Since 1979 Sheri has been co-owner and vice president of ARBICO Organics. ARBICO Organics produces and markets organic and natural products for home, business, garden, lawn, farm and pets. Products include beneficial insects and organisms, fertilizers and soil amendments, weed and disease controls, composting supplies, insecticides, critter controls, horse care, traps, lures, pheromones, botanicals and more.

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June 23, 2014   Comments Off

Ohio State researchers recruit citizens to help study backyard pollinators

pollinohio
Chelsea Smith, a research assistant at Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, sets up a kit that volunteers use in their gardens to track pollination. Photo by Tom Dodge, Dispatch.

Ohio State research project enlists ‘citizen scientists’ to see how pollinators affect their urban fruit, vegetable gardens

By Jessica White
The Columbus Dispatch
May 11, 2014

Excerpt:

Thousands of seeds have been planted, and amateur scientists across the state are ready to step into their laboratories, also known as their backyards.

Soon, about 2,400 sunflowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and banana peppers will sprout in this study on pollination.

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June 18, 2014   Comments Off