Urban Beekeeping

The Buzz About Urban Bees

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Urban Beekeeping
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Urban Beekeeping

Here's what one New York City newspaper said about creating small urban farms in unused lots:

"The first of these five farms was started just ten years ago by Mrs. Henry Parsons in what is now De Witt Clinton Park. At that time it might have been described as the sink of Hell’s Kitchen. It was an open waste place at Fifty-fourth street and Twelfth avenue. While not attractive to anyone else it was the cherished haunt of a local gang known as the ‘Sons of Rest,’ from their partiality to a life of glorious leisure unbroken except by thieving and trips to jail. When the police heard there was going to be a garden on that vacant plot they got ready for extra trouble."

That headline is from 1912.

We seem to be living through a wonderful (re-)greening of American cities. I don't want to paint too rosy a picture. If we don't get a handle on climate change, all the wonderful urban chicken flocks and rooftop gardens and backyard beehives we talk about on these shows are going to fry like pork rinds. But I'm heartened by the 2012 vision of the city, which is not so much new as very old. In 1850 and 1900, a city was more commonly understood as a place that might have contained a lot of vegetable gardens and chicken coops and, yes, bees.

One of the odd benefits of colony collapse disorder has been an urgent appreciation of the importance of bees. It turns out Einstein never said the words commonly attributed to him: "If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live."

But that doesn't mean there isn't a lot of truth to that statement.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.


  

Comments

Chris writes:

What is the start up cost?

Dennis writes:

Hi Colin!!

I wanted to let you know that i enjoyed today's bee show. It was very informative and the guests were top notch.

I am really glad you did this show for a variety of reasons. Most importantly the fact that you really take the audience/listener suggestions quite seriously and then develop them into a great, timely and topical presentations.

As I passed the LOB newstand late last week I saw the Hartford Advocate cover. I felt good that attention was being brought to the one of thesmallest and important feature of our food process. Although my natural inclination is always as a big picture, global thinker it just shows how such a small detail like pollination from such a small creature carries epic success or failure in the ability for the world to exist as it does.

Your show again inspires your audience to grow and share there awarnes of the world around them and round out a broad view as well.

No wonder you won an award for it!!

As always I remain..

Your Humble Servant

Dennis

PS ...After Fridays show I checked the Busy essay through your YPM link.. I do understand the premises and everyone in the culture council spoke well of the aspects of them. However just to show you how treachery is the greatest weapon of old age.. I have used the too busy excuse in order to afford myself blocks of quiet private time to think, contimplate and continue the perfection of my philosophical research into Thorough Pragmatism.

Mark writes:

What are the financial costs of bee keeping?

Greg writes:

Enjoying your show on Urban Beekeeping. My wife and I have a hive in Hartford off Capitol Avenue. Our home is located next door to a City park which offers a tremendous variety of nectar and pollen sources as well as an opportunity for neighborhood kids to learn the importance of bees.

Roberta writes:

Monsanto's Roundup: Good or Bad?

Just read this article yesterday regarding the “Theft” of a beekeeper’s hives by the state of Illinois.