Are City Bees an Urban Myth?
(San Francisco, CA)
What incredible creatures honeybees are, and I really appreciate the time you've taken to educate me. I know only the most minimal amount about bees (and that mostly comes from Laurie R King's excellent fiction mysteries: the first in this particular series of hers is called The Beekeeper's Apprentice, if you are at all interested in the mystery genre).
My sister has long been interested in continuing her graphic design work while also engaging in agricultural activities. Right now she lives in Philly, but may eventually purchase a small farm with friends where she could contribute to the farm activities, sell some products, and continue with her graphic design work. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on whether beekeeping might be an ideal (or at least possible) activity for someone in her position who now lives in the city, but plans to move to the country. She has quite an aptitude for learning new things.
Thanks again for your dedication to this fascinating work.
Tanks for your kind comments. One of the first questions which occurs to someone when contemplating beekeeping, is where can I actually keep the bee hives?
Clearly if one lives in the city it presents more of a challenge than in the country. However I don't think this should deter your sister. Technically in most cities keeping bees is prohibited, but many beekeepers get around this with a little subterfuge. For example there is a famous beekeeping operation on the roof of the Paris Opera House. There are also beekeepers in the Center of London and New York.
The secret of keeping bees in an urban environment, and to a lesser extent in a rural situation, is discretion. Local people can be completely oblivious to a few beehives if they are sited intelligently and managed carefully.
There's more information here about siting a beehive It really is a question of 'what the eye doesn't see, the heart doesn't grieve over'.
If there's really nowhere your sister a could have a beehive where she lives, it's worth joining a beekeeping group and making inquiries to see where there is anyone with some space where they would be agreeable to her keeping a hive or two.
I hope this helps.
The Bee Guy
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