Sunday, August 4, 2013

Is Urban Beekeeping Better Than Rural?

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Even though the EU is initiating a 2-year ban on neonicotinoid pesticides which are heavily implicated in causing massive bee die-off, and a few organizations are suing the EPA for turning a blind eye towards pesticides - there is still a dire situation needing immediate remediation. And, there is a lot in the way of urban beekeeping that can help.

Slowly but surely trending, much like community gardens, is urban beekeeping. Especially as more people find out how doable it is just about anywhere. Surprisingly and best of all - in urban areas.

Here is a close up view of an urban beekeeper's work in Washington state who explains the challenges of keeping bees and the need for it - with a major focus on the many rewards.

Urban Beekeeping from Lauren Stelling on Vimeo.

Does it make sense that city beekeeping would actually be more help to the bee population than rural beekeeping?

It still sounds asinine that pesticide industry moguls Bayer and Syngenta answered the bee problem by calling for more research and suggested planting more flowers around crops. Right, because it would be really helpful for the bees to go even closer to sprayed fields that can kill them within minutes.

The US and UK have seen a 50% bee drop-off in the last 25 years. They pollinate to create 3/4 of the world's food crops. With the massive loss, especially noticeable beginning 2006, an expert suggested it would take 5-10 years to return to the good ol' days of normal bee levels - if something was done to help starting now.

But again, there are options and powerful ways to help. The quick video below is among the most positive messages about urban beekeeping.

The beekeepers explain how city and apartment rooftop keeping is actually healthier for the bees and anyone can do it.

For city-kept bees, some of the benefits include:
  • Biodiversity - flowers everywhere versus monoculture crops
  • Away from pesticides - less likely to come across industrial farming chemicals
  • Less likelihood of Colony Collapse Disorder
  • Will get enough food throughout the day which keeps them from being fed cheap and pesticide-ridden high fructose corn syrup which can kill them

Have you tried keeping bees? Please share your experience below.

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at and Like at Facebook.

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Hide Behind said...

It will work but one may have to smack a few peopleup alonside the head.
There are people that a bee sting will kill. and even dome pets are allergic, let alone children.
Sorry but some oversight of the operations are called for.
Know a man that had hundreds of hives atonetime that he personally handled but he had ten timesthat many in private renter owners.
One diseased hive will kill hundreds of thousands of bees some many miles away.
Also one can get bad honey from the farm.
Go for it.
Put a box on every Sq mile

Anonymous said...

For the most part the more used species of HONEY bees in the U.S. (I don't know about elsewhere) are docile and will only sting if agitated or if their hive is full of honey; they'll protect their honey. While they are out and about, they don't mess with people.

Most stings occur from wasps or bumble bees.

This is where people need smacked up side the head; to educate them about this?

As for the one diseased hive killing many times that in the area, for the hobbyist bee keeper with just a few hives, this is avoidable by being a good bee keeper; check your hives and deal with anything that needs attention, such as disease. Diseased hives are able to be seen and dealt with, with the exception of two diseases which are uncommon and the hives need to be destroyed.

Commercial bee keepers probably don't give the hives the same attention hobbyist keepers do. I'm not talking the keeper that has 10 hives and sells a couple hundred pounds of honey at the farmer's market.

Yup hide behind, a hive every square mile would be awesome!

Anonymous said...

My local northern California suburban beekeeping guild has a sub group where we are trying to breed local survivor stock to reduce our dependence on buying bees and chemical treatments from the commercial bee growers and suppliers.

If you are in San Mateo county CA (just south of SF) check out this survey:

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