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Urban honey


gfweb
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From apiaries high atop the Javits Center in NYC they are making and selling honey (says NYT)

 

What do the bees go for nectar?  Not a lot of clover or whatever around Manhattan.  Lots of dumpsters with bees flying around, though....

 

 

 

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Thanks for the post. I live two blocks from the Javits Center and did not know about this. (I'd guess that they have plants on the roof along with the hives.) It's a great idea. BTW - the Javits Center is not a high-rise. It's maybe five stories high and takes up at least three city blocks in width, probably more. So it has a lot of roof space. Starting an apiary up there was a brilliant idea. Maybe they'll start gardening, too. 

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Bees forage 2 to 6 miles from hives. Bees can also make honey from sugar water.

They will not operate for too long. They will be sued for $$$ if someone is allergic to bee stings. Liability lawyers love situations like this.

 

dcarch

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1 hour ago, dcarch said:

Bees can also make honey from sugar water.

 

Or a nasty sweet slurry or the like.

~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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We have urban bee hive projects here too, and I think it's a great idea. Of course Raleigh is also known as the City of Oaks and Cary, where I live, has even more green space. Durham has a bee project too. Just yesterday, I stopped at the side of the road to admire some particularly beautiful wildflowers and noticed a bee that liked them too. It would have made a good photo, because the bee was totally unconcerned about my presence and continued collecting nectar for the 30 or so seconds I observed her. BTW, about the only way to get stung by a honey bee is to step on them barefoot on a blooming clover lawn (did that inadvertently a few times as a kid) or disturb their hive. They are not aggressive unless they get crossed with the African bee strain which can happen.

 

I'm sort of inclined to agree with @gfweb, though. NYC seems to offer few places to get natural nectar to this outsider. How far is Javits Center from Central Park, though? As I understand it, the park would have plenty of natural forage for bees. I have never myself seen a bee around a dumpster. Flies? all day long, but no bees.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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In NYC, apartment buildings will not allow access to roof tops due to insurance and liability issues. Office building roof tops are expensive real estates for cooling towers, elevator machine rooms, window cleaning rigs, exhaust fans,  generators, etc.

 

dcarch

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It's a new thing. Beekeeping was illegal in NYC until fairly recently. I've heard that it's really taken off in Brooklyn (no surprises there), where there are several apiaries, although I'm not sure if they're rooftop. (But I can't imagine where else they would have the room. Also NYC has so many five- and six-story residential buildings from the post-war period, which seem to be perfect for beekeeping. We're not just skyscrapers!) I found this: http://www.bees.nyc/ which leads to other websites as well. Central Park is at most two miles from the Javits Center, so it's just a hop skip and a jump for those bees. I'm sure this was all well thought out before they started the project. I hope it is successful, I really do think it's a wonderful idea.

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During my high-school years and a few years afterward I worked for a beekeeper/beekeeping/honey business (beekeeping supplies, honey related products ,etc.)

900+ colonies (hives) of bees at over 30 locations.

At times when hive honey stores ran low—a serious emergency—the bees did need to be fed.

The issue usually occurred in late winter or early spring, or when there was a serious dearth of nectar (drought), etc.

Barrels were placed at the apiaries and filled with the sugary substance.

I can't remember now exactly what it was—thinking back, I believe it was candy factory waste.

Certainly nothing dangerous—but dealing with it wasn't pleasant. It was rather pungent. :S

Bees can potentially make honey from anything sugary.

I'll take my honey (if I was still able to eat honey), preferably, from nectar gathered from wildflowers.

A very old photo of me. I'm guessing about 1980. Ha ha ha! xD

iuI814S.png

 

:)

 

PS: Honeybees and dumpsters: I've seen honeybees buzzing dumpsters frequently—especially in early spring.

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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20 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

It's a new thing. Beekeeping was illegal in NYC until fairly recently. I've heard that it's really taken off in Brooklyn (no surprises there), where there are several apiaries, although I'm not sure if they're rooftop. (But I can't imagine where else they would have the room. Also NYC has so many five- and six-story residential buildings from the post-war period, which seem to be perfect for beekeeping. We're not just skyscrapers!) I found this: http://www.bees.nyc/ which leads to other websites as well. Central Park is at most two miles from the Javits Center, so it's just a hop skip and a jump for those bees. I'm sure this was all well thought out before they started the project. I hope it is successful, I really do think it's a wonderful idea.

Don't forget Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, the High Line (covered with flowers), Hudson River Greenway, Union Square Park, etc. etc.

 

As a matter of fact, Significant Eater and I took a rather long walk this past Saturday; we stopped and sat for a while in Jefferson Market Garden.  Place was swarming with bees gathering.

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Now, I can see the logic in keeping bees in cities for pollination.

But for honey making, no, I don't care for the idea.

Just my personal opinion.

 

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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Urban beekeeping is not that new.  I started keeping bees about 10 years ago, and it was a topic of conversation among beekeepers then.  Famously (among beekeepers) the White House had some hives installed at that time, and our local Bee Club hosted the White House Beekeeper for a presentation.

 

So far as what the bees source their honey from, it is true that they can make use of anything sugary.  But they can also be quite picky.  When we had some display hives at the local fair, I noted yellow-jackets swarming over every half-empty soda can in sight.  But the honeybees, they stuck to the organic lemonade stand!  Cities, with their parks, and abundance fo flowers and flowering bushes and trees can often be a more concentrated source of real nectar than some rural areas, where wildflowers have been wiped out in favor of acres and acres of monoculture corn.

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2 hours ago, dcarch said:

Beekeeping, just like urban chicken, is a code violation in most communities.

 

dcarch

 

 

 

Well, arguably, not in some more enlightened ones. :)

 

However, raising backyard chickens is legal here, but if one of my in earshot neighbors decided to keep roosters, I'm not going to say what I'm thinking because you would think I am a violent and crazy person. Roosters start crowing before dawn and they are LOUD. Depending on the topography they can be heard from 1/4 to a mile and possibly more like across a lake or pond or something. 

 

Honeybees really aren't dangerous to us though. Now yellow jackets, are a different story. Run over one of their ground nests with a lawnmower or have your horse step on one of them and they will pursue and sting you en masse like the devils they are. I'm also not surprised they are not as picky about their sustenance as honey bees. Neither critter is going to score high on an intelligence scale, but yellow jackets have a mean gene for sure. I'm pretty sure honey bees are smarter than yellow jackets too, although I have zero evidence to make an argument with, though. I sort of like honeybees. I sort of like them a lot.

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52 minutes ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

Roosters start crowing before dawn and they are LOUD

 

The idea that roosters crow at dawn is an utter myth. Roosters crow any damn time they please. There are several around my home in the countryside and a few in the city  and I hear them at all hours.

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@liuzhou,

 

You are right about this, of course. Anytime they damned well please, but the concentration of when they are all doing it together begins before dawn. I lived on my paternal grandparents farm for a while, and they kept a lot of laying hens as well as about 1 rooster for every 8 or so hens because they wanted chicks. I am not a morning person and never have been. This one particular rooster that used to hop through a hole in the screen and plastic on the back screen porch, which was my room at the time became my nemesis. (There was a propane heater in the room and it was Louisiana so it never got very cold. I also had piles of handmade quilts on the old steel bedstead and feather bed, so I was always warm and comfortable.) I believe that devil rooster cut the hole in the screen with his beak so he could come to my bedside and crow me into consciousness while I would be groggy from sleep so I wouldn't be able to get it together enough to effect his demise. I did try, but that wily bastard always hopped back out the hole before I could rouse myself enough to kill him. It didn't help that you needed to check your footware for scorpions before slipping into them. It could also be quite shocking in winter to get out from under the cozy quilts and be exposed to the much colder air temp in my back porch room. It was like a joke, and to this day, I don't understand what that rooster got out of it. He seemed mean WAY beyond his tiny intelligence. I did get revenge at the next chicken butchering where my grandpa slung him around by the head until his body flung across the chicken yard. Very tasty and organic free range chix. :)

 

We never had beehives on that farm, but lots and lots of bees, which are critical to pollinating the crops we grew there. People really don't seem to realize how important bees are to our very survival. If they go, we will follow them shortly.

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On 9/12/2017 at 1:21 AM, Thanks for the Crepes said:

They are not aggressive unless they get crossed with the African bee strain which can happen.

You are absolutely right. I can't think of a better illustration of this than something that happened recently in our neighborhood. It was discovered that an elderly neighbor had beehives in three outside walls of her house. She had to have lived with them for years without any problems, and there is a busy restaurant next door with outdoor seating, that also had never complained of problems. She, supposedly, had no idea that they were there until a visitor pointed out bees coming from the side of the house and poked a stick in the hole. The bees attacked her ferociously, but not the owner of the house (which really causes one to wonder about the intelligence of bees). The firefighters were called and they removed all the siding and took out the honey. The exterminators were then called and they killed all the bees, which I think is a shame. I had to wonder how many fruit trees in our neighborhood would not be pollinated this year.

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On 9/12/2017 at 3:21 AM, Thanks for the Crepes said:

They are not aggressive....

 

Especially the Buckfast strain developed many years ago by Brother Adam.

They're very mild mannered and not prone to stinging in a way that some other strains are.

 

ETA: I just recalled that there used to be a strain called Midnite that was very gentle—but it appears that strain has disappeared or at least isn't readily available.. :S

"The late Dr. G.H. Cale, a leading authority on honey bees and a honey bee geneticist with Dadant and Sons was responsible for producing a hybrid line of honey bees bred for gentleness and high honey productivity called the “Midnite."

Edited by DiggingDogFarm (log)
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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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1 hour ago, Tropicalsenior said:

... a visitor pointed out bees coming from the side of the house and poked a stick in the hole. The bees attacked her ferociously ...

 

What happened to her??! I'm all for bees and bats (although I do like to keep my distance), but I can't help thinking about that poor woman!

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30 minutes ago, cakewalk said:

I can't help thinking about that poor woman!

She survived. Fortunately, the owner of the house had the presence of mind to turn the hose on her and she didn't get badly stung. But the friendship did not survive. The owner of the house was devastated because her poor little humble house was almost destroyed. She felt that the friend should contribute to rebuilding it since it was her action that caused all the problems. The neighbors eventually, before the rains came, bought lumber and patched up the outside. Doña Elena is now living all alone in her little house, without her bees, and she didn't even get to keep the honey.

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Massive aerial insect spraying is being done to prevent mosquitoes in all the states effected by Irma.

 

Guess how healthy that is to all the bees and to all the other beneficial insects. 

 

Guess how that will impact the delicate enviro/eco balance.

 

dcarch

 

  

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I keep bees myself and there is a LOT of misunderstanding about these creatures. First of all, most people can't distinguish between bees and everything else that flies around - like wasps and yellowjackets. It's almost always a wasp or a yellowjacket that is the culprit when someone gets stung, yet everyone says they were stung by a bee! My honeybees are reasonably docile and can't be bothered to sting unless provoked. Yellowjackets and ground hornets will sting for no damn reason at all - you're just walking past and boom! Last year I got badly attacked by ground hornets just because I walked past their hole. On the other hand, I might get no more than one or two stings a year from my own bees, and I'm right in their hive messing with their stuff. They have work to do and unless you get them upset, they mind their own business.

 

Urban bees are not a menace to anyone. They forage in gardens and park spaces and are important for the ecosystem. You'd be surprised at how much there is for a bee to do even in a city environment - look around and you'll see all kinds of flowering stuff everywhere. I don't know what the local by-laws are, but many municipalities do permit beehives on private property as long as they're situated a certain distance from the property line. If anyone gets stung, I imagine it would be a difficult thing to prove where, exactly, that creature came from - a domestic hive or a wild colony. And as I said, most of the time it would have been something other than a bee anyway.

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