Human collecting of honey from wild bees dates back 15,000 years, while efforts to domesticate bees began just 4,500 years ago. In New York City, urban bee keeping became legal again in 2010 and since then, the number of bee keepers is growing.
Brooklyn Grange, which is the biggest rooftop agriculture in the world keeps 38 hives on their rooftops. With this number they are the biggest bee keepers in New York City as well.
Their hives produce 1000 pounds of honey yearly. Depending on the seasons floral bloom, the bees can fly 7 miles collecting nectar even from Central Park or the High Line in New York City.
“City bees" are said to be healthier and more productive than their country cousins, because there are fewer pesticides and greater biodiversity.An environment of year-round, uninterrupted bloom creates an ideal environment for colony reproduction.
In one hive there can be 4000 –8000 bees depending on the size of the hives. It is like JFK airport where the bees take off on another mission immediately after leaving the hives. "From a 20 foot distance, you would't even recognize their appearance"–said Chase Emmons, Director and Founder of Brooklyn Grange.
World population is concentrated in more urban areas than in villages. Bee keeping and rooftop agriculture are a way of connecting the urban population with nature. In addition, it brings healthy food and a healthy lifestyle into everyday living.