Beehive deliveries keep New Yorkers buzzing on rooftops, backyards
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[April 10, 2021]
By Roselle Chen
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bustling New York City
may not seem a bee-friendly place, but its high-rise rooftops and tiny
gardens are buzzing with honeymakers threatened by pesticides in rural
About 2.4 million Italian honeybees waited in a white van to be taken to
their new homes early Friday. It was parked near the Dakota Apartments
by Central Park, where John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has lived since
"This is the first year that we've done this outside The Dakota," said
Andrew Coté, president of the New York City Beekeepers Association. "We
heard that Yoko likes honey."
Coté, who founded Andrew's Honey, drove up from Georgia to deliver the
bees. The van held 200 wood and screen packages, each with about 12,000
bees. A steady stream of beekeepers lined up to pick up their 3 lb
packages which cost $159 or $205, depending on when they placed their
"Bees are sold by weight, like cheese," he said.
Some buyers stuffed the packages in bags, while Ray Sage strapped two
boxes of bees to his bicycle to ride to his hive on the Lower East Side.
"I have to just ride really slowly and carefully. Sometimes I think of
it as I'm training to be Danish and I never become Danish," he said.
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Urban beekeeper Andrew Cote replenishes bee hives at Clinton
Community Garden in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City, U.S.
April 9, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
The number of urban beekeepers has grown quickly, with many hives
now found on the rooftops of skyscrapers and office buildings, Cote
said. New York legalized beekeeping in 2010 and has hundreds of
registered hives, according to the Department of Health.
Bee populations are in sharp decline worldwide, partly because of
excessive pesticides and chemicals in rural areas, and a lack of
New York does not have this problem, making it a healthy bee
habitat, said Alan Markowitz, a Bronx resident who is a beekeeper at
La Finca del Sur Community Garden, run by women of color.
"A third of what you put in your mouth needs a pollinator. And in
the city, believe it or not, bees do well because there's less
pesticides generally," said the former farmer. "Having a lot of
variety is wonderful for bees."
(Reporting by Roselle Chen; Editing by Richard Chang and Rosalba
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