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New York City’s board of health voted Tuesday to lift a ban against beekeeping, legalizing the hives of hundreds of residents who have tended bees in defiance of the law. The unanimous vote amends the health code to allow residents to keep hives of Apis mellifera, the common, nonaggressive honeybee. Beekeepers will be required to register with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and to adhere to appropriate practices. That means they must be able to control bee swarms and ensure that the hives do not interfere with pedestrians or neighbors.


“Can we dance here?” Jim Fischer, a beekeeper who attended the meeting, asked after the vote. He and other members of beekeeping groups like the Gotham City Honey Cooperative and the New York City Beekeeping Meetup, with a combined membership of more than 600 people, said they were overjoyed and predicted their ranks would expand now that their pursuit was legal.


“We’re elated,” said Ruby Chen, another beekeeper. “It’s nice to focus on bees and not have to worry about politics.”


http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/16/bring-on-the-bees/

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