Monday, March 29, 2010

Gotham Dumps Most Asinine Law On The Books

Instituted by the Giuliani thugs of course.

New York to buzz to the sound of bees

"Apiarists who have long had to cloak their activities with camouflaged hives and furtive forays on to sky scraper roofs were celebrating this week and predicting a beekeeping boom among New Yorkers anxious to connect with nature.
Following a campaign led by locally-produced food campaigners, the city's health board voted to overturn the ban.

Apiarists will now only need to register their hives and guarantee that they can control swarms and ensure their bees do not interfere with other people.
Perhaps the unlikeliest of outlaws, beekeepers have risked fines of up to $2000 (£1,330) if involved in the "possession, keeping, harbouring and selling" of bees.
Other US cities such as San Francisco and Chicago have thriving – and legal – beekeeping communities but, in 1999, the New York administration of Mayor Rudy Giuliani responded to a growing problem of exotic pets by drawing up a list of 100 types of wild animal considered too dangerous to be kept in the city.
They included grizzly bears, cheetahs, scorpions, elephants, ferrets and honey bees.
However, hundreds – the exact number is unclear due to the secrecy of some practitioners – defied the ban, covertly keeping bees on top of apartment buildings, in communal gardens and in their own backyards.
Hives were frequently camouflaged – painted grey to look like air conditioning units or red, like chimneys.
The bravest beekeepers would even sell their produce at local farmer's markets, thumbing their noses at officialdom with honey, soap and wax candles clearly labelled as locally-produced.
There have been sporadic prosecutions, usually as a result of complaints from scared neighbours, but identifying the owner of a hive on top of a large apartment building is difficult.
"Everybody's just jumping up and down with joy over this ban being lifted. I know lots of people who are very cautious and were afraid to do something illegal," said John Howe, whose 650-member New York City Beekeeping MeetUp Group threw a celebration party this week.
Interest in beekeeping had rocketed in recent years, say veterans. As in other US cities, many New Yorkers have embraced the so-called "locavore" movement to encourage locally-produced food – a development which has encouraged interest in bees, not only as honey-makers but also as important crop pollinators."

Bees in more trouble than ever after bad winter


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