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 The Beekeeper Next Door 
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 The Beekeeper Next Door
MIKE BARRETT does not have much of a yard at his two-story row house in Astoria, Queens. But that fact has not kept him from his new hobby of beekeeping — he put the hive on his roof. When it was harvest time this fall, he just tied ropes around each of the two honey-filled boxes in the hive, and lowered them to the ground.

Eventually, Mr. Barrett loaded the boxes into his car, took off his white beekeeper suit and set off for a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. There, along with other members of the New York City beekeeping club, he extracted his honey, eventually lugging home 40 pounds of the stuff.

He was happy with his successful harvest, but he also reaped something he did not expect. “I was surprised how much I really care about the bees,” said Mr. Barrett, 49, a systems administrator for New York University, in reflecting on his inaugural season as a beekeeper. “You start to think about the ways to make their lives better.” :heart

Until last spring, Mr. Barrett would have been breaking the law and risking a $2,000 fine for engaging in his sticky new hobby. But in March, New York City made beekeeping legal, and in so doing it joined a long list of other municipalities, from Denver to Milwaukee to Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, that have also lifted beekeeping bans in the last two years. Many towns, like Hillsboro, Ore., have done the same, and still other places, like Oak Park, Ill., and Santa Monica, Calif., are reconsidering their prohibitions.

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But beekeeping is forbidden in many places. Some of the bans arose after World War II. Cities, seeking to eradicate any traces of agriculture within their limits in order to show they were full-fledged municipalities, forbade the raising of livestock, chicken and other creatures used in food production. Another wave of prohibitions came 20 years ago with the arrival of “killer bees” from Mexico. “People thought, ‘Oh, my God, I’m going to die, my kids are going to die and my dogs are going to die,’ ” said Kim Flottum, editor of Bee Culture magazine in Medina, Ohio. “At the time, people didn’t know what killer bees would do because they kept moving.” (Fortunately, the bees turned out not to be the threat that people feared.)

Read more here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/09/garden/09Bees.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=homepage

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Fri Dec 10, 2010 8:12 am
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Post Re: The Beekeeper Next Door
What a nice story BB. Amazing for NYC all and all!

I am having two new boxes made for two of my hives that live in the forest here, as they are sooo weather beaten they are collapsing. Gonna be transferring them little critters to their new home next week! Time to test my newly acquired bee suit too. Last time I did this the "Killer" bees got to me about six times through the old suit!


:silly

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Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:58 pm
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