Friday, May 30, 2008

Honeybees Thrive on New York City Rooftops

It’s Spring, and Many Honeybees Choose to Call New York Home
By Marc Santora and Kareem Fahim, The New York Times, 5/28/2008

Thousands of years of evolution and cultivation have led honeybees to seek certain qualities in a home — the ideal being something like a hollowed-out wooden tree limb.

A few hundred years of construction by humans in New York City, it turns out, have resulted in an abundance of structures that mimic the conditions bees like best — from the water towers that dot the rooftops to the cornices and overhangs that adorn the buildings.

And each year about this time, thousands of bees swarm to those sites in the city, setting up hives and causing a certain amount of apprehension among the people who spot them…

Although raising bees in New York City has long been a violation of the city health code, the rooftops make an ideal place to keep honeybees and there is a thriving illegal bee scene…

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