With bee populations declining around the globe, many people are looking for ways to help boost bee populations. While some are content with supporting their local beekeepers, others want to do a bit more than this.
If you live in the city, you might feel like your options are slightly limited in terms of what you can do to help with bee conservation. For example, you might have to travel farther afield to visit a farmer’s market to buy raw honey. But you could also buy some beautiful bee jewelry from the ethical company Project Honey Bees, which donates proceeds from every sale towards research into saving the bees.
However, you might be interested to know that there are more ways to help, even if you do live in a crowded city. Urban beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular and is the practice of taking care of bees in a city. So, what is the deal with it? Is it easy to do, or are there too many challenges to make it worthwhile? Below are just some of the pros and cons associated with urban beekeeping.
Urban beekeeping helps with pollination in urban settings. This means that city parks and gardens can thrive. With more pollination in the community, there will be increased biodiversity. It also means that people living in cities can access locally produced honey made from nectar collected from the flowers in the surrounding area. Individuals that consume local honey have stronger immune systems.
If you have the option to keep bees in an urban setting, you will be doing your bit to save the species as well as help the environment. In terms of your own benefit, you may find that this is a hobby that you absolutely love, and you might even be able to make some money selling the delicious honey that your colony produces.
The most obvious issue with urban beekeeping is the lack of space. If you live in an apartment building, for example, you may not be able to just place a hive on your balcony. For starters, there may be restrictions in place that prevent you from doing so. Nevertheless, it is worth checking local ordinances to find out if keeping bees is possible where you live. You might be able to set up a hive on the rooftop, for example.
If you do have permission to keep bees in your city, the location of the hive is another challenge, particularly if you are placing it at roof level. Sunlight is important, but the hive should not be placed in direct sunlight as it could cause overheating. A partially shaded area is best, and you will need to make sure that there is protection from the wind too.
If you are placing your hive on the roof of a building, there needs to be room for you to work. Placing a hive on a slanted roof and attempting to work on a ladder is obviously not a good idea. And remember, beekeeping does require some heavy lifting. This might be a challenge, depending on the location of the hive.
Wanting to do more to save the bees is admirable and has led to the rise of urban beekeeping. Nonetheless, it is important to remember that not everyone who lives in a city can, or even should, keep bees. If your city permits it and you have a suitable space, then urban beekeeping has many benefits. If not, remember that there are other things you can do to help save these important pollinators.