The Clinton Community Garden's experience with bee keeping may be of interest to you, because we have kept a beehive in excess of 15 years in a heavily used, 4,000 + keyholder extremely public community garden in the middle of Manhattan.
Clinton Community Garden
Here is the Clinton Community Garden's "photo album with still pictures of our retired history teacher, Peace corps trained beekeeper, Sid Glazer. The stills are from the PBS series "Wild TV" which filmed both a vermiculture segment ( with Abby Chadwick) as well as a segment on bee keeping and "bee beards" with Sid. This particular episode first aired on September 12, 2002. Scroll down to Sid and the bees.
In brief: As you can see we have one hive in a third of an acre 150' x75' community garden. The hive is located against the brick wall of the tenement bordering the furthest west side of the garden - in the midst of the Native American Volunteer bed kept by Faser Hardin and Annie Chadwick.
Our bees, which are tame European honeybees ( Tuscan/Italian, if memory serves) have suffered mites, swarmed on occasion and have rarely stung anyone other than the beekeeper and volunteers like myself who may have disturbed them in an adjacent bed while weeding. The bees, sensible creatures, pollinate our entire garden, make our tomatoes grow spectacularly, and produced, in a good year, out of one hive, close to 90 pounds of "Hell's Kitchen Honey", about 8 blocks, as the drunken bee flies, from where the ball drops in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Sid Glazer as our bee volunteer. A Clinton Community Garden " John Carney Award" recipient, Sid is also the advising beekeeper at Wave Hill - a stellar public garden and arts facility in Bronx, NY. Wave Hill
Technically, we keep the garden's beekeeping equipment locked up in a part of the shed with the chipper shredder where the smoker and other items are kept available for Sid's use.
I will be seeing Sid this evening at our annual meeting. Should you have any further technical inquiries, please contact me so I can get you in touch with Sid.
Clinton Community Garden
Subj: [cg] Bees in the garden Laurie Tanenbaum
Date: 3/2/04 10:13:20 AM Eastern Standard Time
Sent from the Internet
Seeking info, opinions about raising bees inside a community garden. It seems that the activity of the area would be disruptive to the bees which could then be a problem for gardeners - but I'm seeking input. Laurie, Chicago
Grounds For Growth