Beware New Yorkers – experts are warning that the city could see a rise in bee swarms this summer. Since beekeeping was legalized in NYC, the number of registered swarms skyrocketed from 3 to 161 in the last two years, including a case of tourists at South Street Seaport being attacked by 15,000 bees from a dropped contained hive. The news is a bit ironic considering that we usually report on the dangers of the declining bee population, but it seems that the bees themselves could pose a risk if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Photo © Harlequeen
The ban on beekeeping was overturned in 2010, allowing locavore-loving beekeepers to raise their colonies in all five boroughs. The home-grown honey from these hives is often sold at farmers markets or included in popular menu items at hip restaurants. The incredible growth in interest in beekeeping has also been instrumental in helping to increase the bee population, which has been dwindling around the world.
But with more bees comes the danger of giant bee swarms – a phenomena that is instinctual to the insects. Thus far this year, the police have been called to help maintain 30 swarms that went out of control and endangered passersby.
Legalized beekeeping has helped the bee population exponentially, but experts are now advocating to force licensed beekeepers to register their colonies. The number of colonies would then be limited per beekeeper, which will hopefully be a step in the right direction for preventing the predicted influx of bee swarms in the city.