Good news for Jon, Brandon, Eddie and honey enthusiasts across the city---the NYC Health Department unveiled plans yesterday to lift a decade-old ban on keeping honeybees. The Daily News reports, "The buzz began recently when a sustainable-food group - Just Food - and other bee enthusiasts begged health bosses to allow New Yorkers to keep the stinging insects."
Bees had been placed on a list of harmful "wild animals," that includes lions, pit vipers, and crocodiles, under the city health code. Fines can range between $200-$2000 for maintaining a rooftop hive, which according to the News "more than 500 New Yorkers" already do. Health officials have now determined that stings by honeybees are rarely harmful and will hold a public hearing on the proposal early next year.
One colony can yield up to 150 pounds of honey, which sells for $10 a pound, according to Amy Blankstin of Just Food. Liane Newton, the incoming organizer of the New York City Beekeeping Meetup Group, told OnEarth, "We're very pleased to be able to encourage proper beekeeping training without feeling like we are skirting the law."