NYC beekeepers have it tough, but beekeeping is growing in the Big Apple

There’s probably not a tougher place in America to keep bees than the boroughs of New York City.

First, until 2010, it was simply illegal to do it.

But even after it became legal (and a few underground beekeepers could do it in the open), you can imagine how hard it would be to set up a hive and keep it alive. That’s why, a week or so ago, when NYC beekeepers celebrated Honey Week, it really was a cause for celebration.

There are about 100 registered beekeepers in the city with more than 250 registered hives. The following is part of AM New York’s  article about Honey Week in NYC:

One of New York City’s pioneering beekeepers is Andrew Cote. The fourth-generation beekeeper manages about 50 colonies across the city, including at the Waldorf Astoria, which has 360,000 European honeybees in six hives on its 20th-floor rooftop. About twice a year, Cote harvests the sweet stuff from the hives, which is used throughout the hotel in food, for tea and, come October, a special honey-laced beer created by Empire Brewing Company. (quoted material)

Even though the local bee scene is booming, it’s not easy being an urban beekeeper, said Cote. For one, it’s hard to find places to safely put the bees. Then you have to carry heavy equipment up and down stairs, ladders and fire escapes to and from the roofs, constantly look for parking and live with the fear that a beekeeper might mess up and a swarm will find its way into the crowd below (rest assured though, this isn’t a common occurrence, said Cote). (quoted material)

So, congratulations to some tough-minded beekeepers — those in the Big Apple.


Key words: New York City beekeepers, beekeeping in the Big Apple, AM New York, Honey Week in NYC, difficulties of keeping bees in New York City, Andrew Cote, beehives at the Waldor Astoria, Empire Brewing Company

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