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WATCH: Andrew Cote

WATCH: “Andrew Cote, Beekeeper” via The Next List 

“Urban Beekeeping is like crack. It’s an obsession and there’s no turning back.” -Andrew Cote

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PHOTOS: ANDREW COTÉ FOR EDIBLE MANHATTAN

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ARTICLE: A Sculptor Creates a Stop on the Bee Train
By ELAINE LOUIE – The New York Times 

“Christopher Russell, 52, a Manhattan sculptor, is one of 10 artists commissioned by the M.T.A. Arts for Transit and Urban Design program in its latest project to enhance New York subway stations. Almost all of the new works (seven are scheduled for unveiling today along the D line in Brooklyn) are laminated glass windscreens that edge subway platforms above ground…

Mr. Russell was entrusted with designing bronze gates, 7 feet high and 6 feet wide, at the Ninth Avenue Station in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. The gates depict honeybees crawling on hives, and the posts of adjacent fences will have honeybees resting on 17 finials shaped like flower heads…

I’ve worked in ceramics for 20 years, and primarily with birds, sea life and bees for the last five years. I became interested in the incredible complexity of hives, the detail of the work bees do and the exactness. I took it upon myself to recreate these hives in ceramic, and that became a three- or four-year project…

I think people understand that bees are a valuable presence in this world, that they symbolize a kind of bucolic peacefulness and simplicity. Bees go about their business. They’re actually very docile when they’re swarming.”

[click here to view the full articles on nytimes.com]

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Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Installs Bee Hives On Roof

via huffingtonpost.com
 

NEW YORK — New York City’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is buzzing with thousands of tiny new visitors.

The luxury hotel has installed six beehives on its rooftop with the goal of harvesting honey by mid-summer. One mature hive has 20,000 bees and five starter hives have 5,000 bees each.

By August, the hotel hopes to host 300,000 bees in total.

The bees arrived last week in a luxury car. Then they were escorted through the lobby to their new home on the 20th floor.

Guests at the historic hotel can tour the hives. The insects also are visible from certain rooms.

Honey will be used in dishes served at the hotel’s restaurant.

Members of the public can help the hotel name the hives in a social media contest.
 

[click here to read another article about the Waldorf-Astoria bees here]

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http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/apps/cvp/3.0/swf/cnn_416x234_embed.swf?context=embed&videoId=living/2011/11/08/urban-beekeeping-nyc.cnn

VIDEO: City-dwellers swarm to urban beekeeping

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Huffington Post Article:

Kosher Honey: Making It a Sweet Rosh Hashanah With Bees


“At no time during my experience in a New York City rabbinical school did I think I would ever be donning full beekeeper regalia and watching as thousands of bees made honey on a farm in Michigan’s Amish country. But that is precisely what I found myself doing for the first time this past spring.

In addition to learning about the honey-making process, I’ve also learned about colony collapse disorder, the unexplained phenomenon of worker bees disappearing from hives causing a shortage of bee honey in recent years. I learned this from Don and Carol Ragan, a lovely couple who own the Windmill Hill Farm in Croswell (located in the “thumb” of Michigan). Carol first contacted me in February immediately after reading an article in the Detroit Free Press about Kosher Michigan, the kosher certification agency I started. She wanted to know what was involved in obtaining certification for her bee honey.

I told her that I would have to get back to her because I really wasn’t sure what it took to certify bee honey as kosher. The mere fact that bee honey is kosher is itself odd. After all, it is a product of the non-kosher bee (no insects except for certain locust species are deemed kosher by the Torah). So, how can a product of a non-kosher animal be kosher? It is believed that honey is kosher since it is produced outside of the body of the bee. But that isn’t totally true. In actuality, bees suck nectar from flowers with their proboscis (mouth) and this nectar mixes with saliva and is swallowed into the honey sac, where enzymes from the saliva break down the nectar into honey. The nectar is never digested, but rather transformed into honey by the saliva. The honey is regurgitated when the bee returns to the hive and the water is evaporated, thereby thickening it into honey which is then sealed in the honeycomb. The rabbis of the Talmud explain that bee honey is kosher since it is not an actual secretion of the bee, but rather the bee functions as a carrier and facilitator of the honey-making process.

All of this is interesting because honey is a staple food of the Jewish New Year’s holiday of Rosh Hashanah, which begins this year on Wednesday, Sept. 28… Among the familiar traditions of Rosh Hashanah are the dipping of apple slices in honey and eating honey cake…

“We’re passionate about making honey,” said Carol Ragan. “When we first discovered hives on our Croswell farm we were excited to experiment with making honey. We never realized how much we would come to enjoy it or how much of a market there is for honey products.”

Even with colony collapse disorder, beekeeping is on the rise throughout the country. New York City legalized recreational beekeeping last year, and even Michelle Obama had a beehive installed outside the White House.

…While the Bible describes Israel as “the land flowing with milk and honey,” it was more than likely referring to date honey. Bees were not common in Israel thousands of years ago, but today Israel has about 500 beekeepers with approximately 90,000 beehives that produce more than 3,500 tons of honey annually.

The basis of using honey in baked goods and dipping apples into honey on Rosh Hashanah is to have a sweet year. While the secular New Year is kicked off with toasts of champagne, the Jewish New Year is launched with the sweet taste of honey. And maybe a little sugar high too.”

[Click here to read the full article on HuffingtonPost.com]

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VIDEO: Brooklyn’s Urban Beekeepers: Breaking The Law For The Planet

HELP US TO LEGALIZE URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES!!!
Link to our petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/help-legalize-beekeeping-in-mar-vista

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Un-BEE-lievable: NYC Fines Man $2,000 For Not Watering His Hive

Click here to read the article on cbslocal.com

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Will You Help Legalize Urban Beekeeping in Mar Vista?

“As the national interest in urban beekeeping grows, cities like Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Seattle have joined the movement and legalized the practice. These cities recognize just how important bees are to the future of our way of life.

Yet, as bees are quickly vanishing due to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), some cities like Los Angeles have yet to legalize urban beekeeping. In the Mar Vista community of L.A., a group of activists is ready to change that. Chelsea and Rob McFarland recently started a petition on Change.org asking the Mar Vista Community Council to support beekeeping in the region and work to repeal Los Angeles Municipal Code 50.03, which makes beekeeping illegal.

Working in collaboration with the Mar Vista Community Council Green Committee and Backwards Beekeepers, the McFarlands started honeylove.org to raise awareness and gain support for the legalization of urban beekeeping in Mar Vista and Los Angeles as a whole. After speaking in front of the Mar Vista Community Council, Chelsea and Rob gained unanimous approval of a feasibility study on legalizing beekeeping.

Their work is certainly important — bees are responsible for pollinating about one-third of America’s food supply. Without bees, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy staples of our diets like apples, nuts, soybeans, broccoli, and cucumbers, as well as some of the tastiest flowering crops out there, such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, citrus fruits, and melons. Even our cattle, which feed primarily on alfalfa, rely on bees to pollinate their food. Even President Obama supports urban beekeeping — he keeps two beehives on the White House lawn.

While the Mar Vista Community Council approved the feasibility study, they’ve yet to fully legalize beekeeping in the community. That’s where the McFarlands’ petition comes in. You can help the couple push for legal beekeeping in Mar Vista. Add your signature to the petition, and enable the citizens of Mar Vista to play their part in saving our food system through urban beekeeping.”

Change.org – by Meredith Slater · June 28, 2011 

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Just finished making our first batch of HoneyLove California Orange Poppy Seed Packets! 

JOIN US – JUNE 14TH !!!
We are presenting an “Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project” to the Mar Vista City Council in the hopes of beginning the process of legalizing beekeeping in Los Angeles – COME OUT AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR HONEY BEES!! 

Tuesday, June 14 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium
11430 Woodbine Street, Mar Vista CA 90066

New York, Seattle, San Francisco… and most recently SANTA MONICA have legalized beekeeping…. 
Now we NEED YOUR HELP to get Los Angeles up to speed!

If you can’t make it – you can also email Bill Rosendahl to show your support!
bill.rosendhal [at] lacity [dot] org

Check out the list of Los Angeles Urban Beekeeping supporters so far!

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