Help Legalize Beekeeping in NYC: Speak Out! | Civil Eats

Help Legalize Beekeeping in NYC: Speak Out!

New York City urban beekeepers (and lovers of honey, fruit and flowers): tomorrow is the big day to let your legislators know that you want beekeeping to be a legal activity by giving an oral testimony at the public hearing on the issue between 10am-12pm, 125 Worth Street, Room 330.

Beekeeping is currently illegal under the health code of NYC, which prohibits the possession, keeping, harboring and selling of “wild animals” and “venomous insects.” However, beekeepers are becoming commonplace in cities across the United States. These cities have realized that bees are essential to a thriving natural environment, including as a support to urban vegetable gardens.

Just Food, an organization that seeks to expand access to healthy food to all New Yorkers, has spearheaded the campaign to get this antiquated law changed. Nadia Johnson from Just Food sent over some of of the organization’s testimony. Hopefully it will inspire you to come along and speak your mind on this important subject:

Just Food supports the Department of Health’s proposed amendment to Article 161 of the NYC Health Code regarding honey-beekeeping in New York City. Lifting the ban on honey-beekeeping is essential to a green, healthy, sustainable city.

As a local organization that works to increase access to fresh, healthy food in New York City and to support the local farms and urban gardens that grow it, honeybees and beekeepers are vital to our mission.

City planners and elected officials increasingly acknowledge urban farming as key to addressing greening, climate change and other environmental sustainability issues, and honeybees are key to building a strong local food system. As pollinators they contribute to productive harvests in New York City’s community gardens, botanical gardens, public parks, greenroofs and backyards.

With the crisis of Colony Collapse Disorder, it’s never been so important for all communities—urban and rural—to promote beekeeping. Beekeeping is legal in cities throughout the country—including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Even government sites such as Chicago’s City Hall and the White House’s South Lawn has honeybee hives.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Beekeepers in New York City—past, present and future—play a vital role in ensuring our city is greener, healthier, and sweeter. The proposed amendment to Article 161 would bring New York City up to speed with cities around the country

Check out Just Food’s video, “Hidden Hives Tour”:

Hidden Hives Tour from Just Food on Vimeo.

Thank you for being a loyal reader.

We rely on you. Become a member today to read unlimited stories.

Paula Crossfield is a founder and the Editor-at-large of Civil Eats. She is also a co-founder of the Food & Environment Reporting Network. Her reporting has been featured in The Nation, Gastronomica, Index Magazine, The New York Times and more, and she has been a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio. An avid cook and gardener, she currently lives in Oakland. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

  1. Matt
    Good morning. If you are looking for a model policy,Cleveland(OHio) City Council just past legislation last year to make bee keeping (and chickens) legal in the city. It is a very thurough and thoughtful peice of legislation that my be useful for the work in NYC. The Cleveland Cuyahoga County Food Policy Council helped in the effort, and they their contact information is availabe at www.cccfoodpolicy.org. Let me know if you need more information. Good luck!
  2. Tim Harrap
    Interestingly the monocle Magazine has just reported on bees in Paris see. http://bit.ly/d9aD53

More from

Food Access

Featured

hickens gather around a feeder at a farm on August 9, 2014 in Osage, Iowa. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

What Happened to Antibiotic-Free Chicken?

With the biggest poultry company in the country backtracking and other commitments to raising healthier birds unmet, the future is rockier than it once seemed.

Popular

Nik Sharma Offers His Top Tips for Home Cooks to Fight Recipe Fatigue

Nik Sharma baking at left, and tossing a chickpea dish at right. (Photo credit: Nik Sharma)

A Guide to Climate-Conscious Grocery Shopping

Changing How We Farm Might Protect Wild Mammals—and Fight Climate Change

A red fox in a Connecticut farm field. (Photo credit: Robert Winkler, Getty Images)

Across Farm Country, Fertilizer Pollution Impacts Not Just Health, but Water Costs, Too

An Illinois farmer fertilizes a field before planting. (Photo credit: Scott Olson, Getty Images)