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Re: seeking advice on integrating beekeeping into urban community gardening

  • Subject: Re: [cg] seeking advice on integrating beekeeping into urban community gardening
  • From: William Hohauser williamhohauser@earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2006 18:49:02 -0400

Just a note to gardens considering domesticated bees::

Please have an experienced entomologist study the existing bee population in your area. Honeybees will force out native species that are already using the garden. We are fortunate to have an experienced entomologist (major museum) as a member and she alerted us that we already had several native species visiting and living in our garden so our bee-related pollination needs were already covered. Honeybees are aggressive and will reduce resources for other bee species.

The honey is nice but we voted to not have a hive. Perhaps honeybees work out fine in other areas.

William Hohauser
6th Street & Avenue B Garden
www.6bgarden.org


On Apr 4, 2006, at 9:17 AM, Mike McGrath wrote:

The thread isn't too old--Adam and I are!

I like this angle a lot better than the garden going out looking for trouble. Very different when dedicated beekeepers looking for their own little 'community plot' come by and say "Hey lady--want a hive"?
Then they have a place to play and the gardeners get the extra pollination.
That's 'win-win'!
---Mike McG
----- Original Message ----- From: "Andrea Jadwin" <ajadwin@pacbell.net>
To: <adam36055@aol.com>
Cc: <MikeMcG@PTD.net>; <zferis@yahoo.com>; <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Monday, April 03, 2006 11:16 PM
Subject: Re: [cg] seeking advice on integrating beekeeping into urban community gardening


I hope this thread is not too old because I'd like to add my two cents in support of beekeeping in community gardens. Here in San Francisco at my local community garden, we have two beekeepers (and a waiting list) who supply us with pollination and honey. In four years of beekeeping in the garden, we have never had a single gardener stung by a honey bee.

It is a lot of work for the beekeepers (Varroa mites, mice, foulbrood) but they enjoy their avocation and know how to deal with the challenges (without pesticides). And the majority of gardeners are fascinated by the bees and very interested in learning about them. Honey bees' ability to adapt to dense urban areas is something that every city gardener can relate to!

We did have some initial resistance from a couple of gardeners but experience has proven out the benefits vs the risks.

If you're interested in attracting beekeepers to your garden, contact your local beekeeping association (there's one in every town) and get somebody who is experienced and responsible. This is key - inexperienced beekeepers are not the right fit for community gardens.

Happy beekeeping,

Andrea Jadwin
White Crane Springs Community Garden
San Francisco

On Mar 23, 2006, at 7:17 AM, adam36055@aol.com wrote:

Beekeeping at the Clinton Community Garden in NYC

It's a hoot having a working beehive, 8 blocks away from where the ball drops during the New Year's festivities in Times Square. While we love the honey, and sell it as a fundraiser and give it away to political dignitaries, and "ahem," radio show hosts like Mike McGrath, we are able to run this garden in the midst of diesel particulate thick midtown Manhattan without toxic pesticides and with organic fertilizers BECAUSE of their pollinating power.

Honey is sweet, natural pollination is sweeter.

We are so fortunate in having a retired NYC High School teacher named Sid Glazer who trained as a beekeeper before a post- retirement stint in Central America as a Peace Corp Volunteer? Remember the Peace Corps? When Americans were known for exports of non-military technical assistance?

Anyway, Sid Glazer is our head beekeeper who also works as a volunteer at the world famous Wave Hill Garden in Riverdale. We had tried it earlier with another volunteer - but beekeeping requires someone who really pays attention to the bees, and will get their fanny to the garden ASAP when there is a swarm. Hedigus is another fine volunteer and as I'm the resident "Honigman," I sometimes put on the beekeeper's helmet and help out.

The Clinton Community Garden DOES NOT use pesticides, because they'd kill the bees. But you need to have beekeeping equipment and the understanding that sometimes your colony of tame Italiain bees will be killed by mites, or not survive the winter.

But when it works, and you have new clean "supers," fresh bees and luck, keeping bees is well worth it.

Bees and neighbors: We keep the beehive next to a solid brick wall, in our Native American Bed, not close to neighbors windows. We also get on swarms with a smoker right away. There are risks to bees - some folks are deathly allergic to them, so we tell folks that we have a beehive, and tell people not to let their kids play too close to the hive.

Common sense, but you have to decide on your garden's risks, safety procedures, and have a trained beekeeper on tap. There is a link to pictures of the Clinton Community Garden's hive at http:// www.clintoncommunitygarden.org



Regards,
Adam Honigman

-----Original Message-----
From: Mike McGrath <MikeMcG@PTD.net>
To: Zach Feris <zferis@yahoo.com>; community_garden@mallorn.com
Sent: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 09:54:24 -0500
Subject: Re: [cg] seeking advice on integrating beekeeping into urban community gardening


I know that Adam and his fellows have been very successful with their honey-makers in NYC; I was pleased to be gifted with a jar of "Hell's Kitchen honey". But I personally think they're a lot of work--and they require the use of toxic pesticides.
One alternative to what is essentially an "artificial" hive of imported Italian honeybees (who are very weak in our climate, and so must be treated with antibiotics and pesticides on a regular basis to protect them from disease and mites) is to maximize strategies for attracting NATIVE bees (Mason, blue- faced, orchard, bumble, etc., etc.).
These natives are naturally healthy, require no direct care, are MUCH better pollinators, the males have no stingers (and the females are docile) and there is no large structure to attract vandals. No honey, tho.
Best, Mike McGrath

---- Original Message ----- From: "Zach Feris" <zferis@yahoo.com>
To: <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 10:44 PM
Subject: [cg] seeking advice on integrating beekeeping into urban community gardening

Hi gang,
This growing season, members of the Brunswick Community Garden in Jersey > City, NJ will be deciding whether or not to integrate a new element into > the garden landscape - a beehive. I'm aware that a number of community > gardens in NYC, and elsewhere, have successfully done thus for a number of > years now. Due to member interest, we've decided to follow suit.

The primary concern, as anyone would imagine, is human safety. Although, > in this litigious age, folks seem to move quickly along from concerns of > safety to concerns of liability. Whatever your line of thinking, here's > the thing - honeybees do occasionally sting people, and some people are > allergic to bee stings.

We'd be really interested in hearing from those of you out there who have > experience navigating these issues, specifically in an urban setting. We'd > really like to do this, but we want to be sure that we do it well. Thanks, > in advance!

Best,
Zach Feris, Co-Director
Email: zferis@yahoo.com
Brunswick Community Garden
Web: http://www.geocities.com/jccommunitygarden/


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of > ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and > to find out how to join, please go to http:// www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: > https:// secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http:// www.communitygarden.org

To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: https:// secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http:// www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: https:// secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http:// www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: https:// secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http:// www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list: community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription: https:// secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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