Urban beekeeping keeps cities healthy

“We need bees for the future of our cities and urban living,” Noah Wilson-Rich said at TEDxBoston.

Wilson-Rich completed his Ph.D. in honeybee health in 2005. In 2006, honeybees started disappearing.

“We don’t even find dead bodies, and it’s bizarre. Researchers still do not know what’s causing it,” says Wilson-Rich.

We’ve been hearing about the disappearance of bees for some time, but Wilson-Rich is bringing a new perspective to the table.

Cities need bees, and bees need cities.

“We’re very co-evolved because we depend on bees for pollination and even more recently, as an economic commodity.” Wilson-Rich went on to note that in cities “bees are surviving better than in the country. They also produce more honey.”

There are a number of possible reasons. Cities are warmer, trains carry pollen into heavily populated areas, and there may be fewer pesticides in urban areas. In other words, Colony Collapse Disorder is not the only thing affecting bees.

But even though the physical urban environment supports healthy bees, the social urban environment certainly does not. There is a reason urban beekeepers take care to keep their beehives out of sight.
Wilson-Rich wants to change that:

“The way that urban beekeeping currently operates is that the beehives are quite hidden. it’s not because they need to be, it’s because people are uncomfortable with the idea.” As the world population explodes, “We need to change the way that we see cities”

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