Are Honeybees Too Wild For NYC?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Beekeeper Beekeeper (wohack/flickr)

Urban beekeepers are abuzz with the possibility that a decade-old-ban on keeping hives in New York City might soon be overturned.

The city's health department says it'll make a decision on whether beehives will be allowed in the city next month. At the moment, urban beekeepers can be fined up to a couple thousand dollars for keeping hives.

"They kind of get lumped in with keeping alligators and a tiger and all these crazy things," said Laura Rimmer, who works with Wave Hill in the Bronx, where beekeeping classes are taught.

Rimmer says it doesn't make sense that bees are listed as "wild animals" by the health department. "As long as you're responsible most people don't have any problem keeping the bees, but of course we want the health code to be overturned so it is officially legal."

The city's health department will hold a public hearing on the beekeeping rule this Wednesday.

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