City Moves to Lift Ban on Beekeeping - from NYT


"The city’s Board of Health on Thursday proposed lifting a ban on beekeeping, partly in response to the rising popularity of urban bee colonies and the efforts a group called Just Food that has sought to promote beekeeping as part of a sustainable-agriculture program.

The proposed revisions [pdf] to the city’s health code come after a city councilman, David Yassky of Brooklyn, introduced a bill this year that would legalize beekeeping. The change has the support of environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council.

According to the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the city’s health code historically listed bees as prohibited animals “because of their ability to sting people.”

The department said in a statement: “After the Board of Health received a petition from a group wanting to promote honey-bee keeping as sustainable agriculture, the Health Department looked into urban beekeeping and found that responsible urban beekeeping does not pose a public health issue.”

The public has until Feb. 3 to submit comments on the proposed rule change, which the Board of Health would then vote on in March."

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