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.

newsmatch banner 2022

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.

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”:

We’ll bring the news to you.

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

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

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

Apple tree burnt by hot sun and drought

Climate Change Is Pushing Pacific Northwest Farmers to Protect Crops from Extreme Heat

Farmers who grow apples, berries, cherries, potatoes, and more are facing more intense and frequent heat, and struggling to adapt their practices to protect their crops. 

Popular

Young Farmers Are Growing Food for Climate Action and Racial Justice

Iriel Edwards working on the farm. (Photo courtesy of Iriel Edwards)

A Young Oyster Farmer Carrying on the Family Business

Gaby Zlotkowsky on a boat holding a basket of oysters. (Photo credit: Capshore Photography)

Young People Working for Food Justice in North Carolina

Michael

Young Fishermen Are Struggling to Stay Afloat

Lucas Raymond holding a halibut. (Photo courtesy of the New England Young Fishermen's Alliance)