Urban Beekeeping – bad for bees?

London Bee Keepers unsuccessful

London Bee Keepers unsuccessful

Two British scientists are dumping cold water on campaigns to promote urban beekeeping. They say that trying to “help the bees” by setting out more hives is naive and misguided if the bees can’t find enough flowers nearby to feed on. You’ll just end up with sick and starving bees. Francis Ratnieks and Karin Alton, from the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects  at the University of Sussex, say that this is already a real problem in London, where the number of hives has doubled over the past five years. There now are about 25 honeybee hives for each square mile of the city. Businesses have installed hives on rooftops as a way to demonstrate their environmental concern, or even to “boost office morale.” (Loyal NPR listeners, in fact, may have heard that we, too, have two hives on the “green roof” of our new headquarters in Washington.) According to Ratnieks and Alton, there now are too many bees in London, chasing too few flowers. The scientists are urging well-meaning bee defenders to change their focus: “To have bees you don’t need a bee hive,” they write in The Biologist. “Just plant bee-friendly flowers such as marjoram … and lavender in your garden.” Marla Spivak, a specialist on bees at the University of Minnesota, says she hasn’t yet seen, in the United States, a situation similar to London’s, but the danger is real. Click here for the full story.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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  1. Songs of Beedom | The LiBEErary - August 17, 2013

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