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Beekeeping is all the buzz in New York City

Beekeeping is all the buzz in New York City
Issue Time:2018-09-14

Beekeeping is all the buzz in New York City

Taylor Chapman, 16, tends to bees at the family’s hive on their Tribeca terrace.

This New York City craze has plenty of buzz.

More and more New Yorkers are taking up beekeeping. Over the last four years, the number of beehives throughout the five boroughs swelled 35 percent, from 277 to 373.

The official number of beekeepers ticked up 21 percent, from 99 to 120, according to the Department of Health – though insiders note there are likely many beekeepers off the books.
Tribeca mom Wendy Chapman registered her hive of 60,000 Italian honeybees after completing a course.

“I didn’t think I was ready, but everyone said if you have a place for the bees, give it a try,” Chapman, 51, told The Post.

The mother of three teens ordered a 3-foot-tall hive box with 24 honeycomb screens and five bee suits for her and her family.

On a warm spring afternoon, she set up the hive on her Greenwich Street apartment building’s eighth-floor terrace and unpacked the pollinators, including one queen and swarms of worker bees.

“Our neighbors were really surprised, but they quickly learned that it’s not a big deal,” Chapman said. “The bees mostly keep to themselves.”

Chapman’s kids are equally cool in the face of stingers.

“They’re just doing their job,” said Kendal Chapman, 17, who helps tend to the bees. “We can help them and know they are also helping us.”

The mom caught the bug for bees after reading a heartbreaking article about the insects’ dwindling numbers in nature.

“It made a really big impression,” said Chapman. “When I came across the class, I decided instead of worrying, I should do something.”

Bee experts say the city is teeming with many more hives and beekeepers than reported.

“There’s definitely twice as many hives as there are registered, or more, in the city,” said Hannah Baek, the vice president of NYC Beekeepers Association. “Just like how you can sneak a dog past a landlord, you can hide your beehives as long as no one freaks out about it”– though she doesn’t recommend it.

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