Resilient Ideas: Rooftop Beekeeping

Urban hives allow landless city dwellers to create their own honey–and may even provide solutions to colony collapse.
rooftop beekeeping

Photo by Ben Duchac

Beekeeping is still illegal in 89 U.S. cities, but New York City beekeepers no longer have to use civil disobedience to provide shoppers with honey that’s produced in the neighborhood.

Bees from urban hives allow city dwellers to generate their own food without land or dirt, and the bees aid local fruit production by pollinating trees. It’s also possible that urban bee colonies, exposed to fewer pesticides than their country cousins, may be resilient genetic reservoirs that could help worldwide bee populations recover from parasites and the little-understood colony collapse disorder.

This spring, food activists successfully overturned New York City’s anti-beekeeping ordinance. A month later, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, a rooftop CSA in Brooklyn, installed hives. Above, a beekeeper in Brooklyn’s historic Cobble Hill neighborhood tends to his bees on the roof of his brownstone.

Ari LeVaux wrote this article for A Resilient Community, the Fall 2010 issue of YES! Magazine.

More Resilient Ideas

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A Hand-Built Home
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  Bike As You Are
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  Processing Food Where the Food Is
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Beekeeping on City Rooftops
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  Making Fruit Public
  Get Off the Grid
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