New York overturns beekeeping ban

Good news for the urban bees movement from across the Atlantic with the news this week that the New York authorities have overturned a ban on keeping bees in the city. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene unanimously amended the law after it received a petition calling for beekeeping to be legalised in the city, organised by the New York City Beekeepers Association, and considered research showing that Apis mellifera are not harmful to the public.

Of course people have been flouting the longtime ban, keeping hives on rooftops in Manhattan, backyards in Brooklyn and community gardens in Harlem. But they risked incurring a $2,000 fine. Now the practice is legal, they will have to register their hives with the health department, but no license is required.  The register will mostly be used to help resolve any complaints.

The NYCBA was formed two years ago and has 220 members. It runs beekeeping courses and with a change in the law and a growing interest in urban beekeeping across the States, that number is sure to rise.

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