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NYC Becomes Bee-Friendly, Amends Law Forbidding Backyard Honey Hives

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new york city, bees

Apiarists rejoice! All of those secret, undercover hives you’ve been illegally possessing from Manhattan to Brooklyn can now be shown to the world.

New York City on Tuesday amended a law that labeled bees — along with polar bears and snapping turtles — as wild animals; and therefore illegal to keep in the five boroughs. With Colony Collapse Disorder wreaking havoc on bee populations across the U.S., beekeepers (otherwise known as apiarists) have lobbied to overturn such laws in an effort to get people interested in beekeeping and boosting colonies. The new law allows New Yorkers to keep hives of Apis mellifera, the common, non-aggressive honeybee, at their residence.

As we mentioned earlier, the effort to amend the law also received huge attention from Haagen-Dazs ice cream, which depends on bees to help pollinate more than 50 percent of the brand’s flavors.

“More beekeepers means more honey bees, and that’s what we need right now,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, former president of Apiary Inspectors of America and Haagen-Dazs Bee Board member. “By allowing New York City residents to keep bees without penalty, more people will be encouraged to take up this hobby that’s both rewarding and important for our troubled bee population. Good pollinator health is crucial for all of us.”

With the new law, beekeepers in NYC can avoid penalties that once carried fines of up to $2,000.

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