The First Annual Beekeepers Ball: A Buzzing Night in Support of New York Urban Beekeeping

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Atlanta allows them. So does Denver. Chicago welcomes them to the roofs of City Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center. San Francisco included them as part of their Sustainability Plan. And Michelle Obama gives them a prime spot on the White House lawn. Poor honeybees, the only place they seem to be unwelcome is New York City.

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We headed over to the Beekeepers Ball at South Street Seaport last night. Sponsored by the New York City-based non-profit Just Food, the ball helped raise awareness about beekeeping, which is currently illegal in New York. We are already big fans of honeybees. Actually anyone who likes food (or eats on a daily basis) should be a fan of honeybees.

Without bees doing their magical pollinating dance, one third of the food that we eat on a daily basis would not exist. No bees equals no almonds, apples, cherries, plums, prunes, asparagus, carrots, celery, onions, radishes—the list goes on.

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20090623-bees5.jpgThe night was saturated with awesome honeybee fashion, and of course, honey. Honey milkshakes topped with beer, hot dogs with sweet honey mustard, big trays of glazed honeybuns stuffed with burgers, and strawberry-honey-rhubarb popsicles from People’s Pops. Since they debuted at the New Amsterdam Market last summer, the stick dessert entrepreneurs have started hitting up the Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene on Saturdays and under the Brooklyn Bridge on Sundays. With little bits of fruit and a subtle honey sweetness, we’d be happy eating them all summer long. Too bad for us, People's Pops keeps it local and seasonal, so we’ll have to find a new favorite flavor come July and August.

The nice guys from Long Island Meadery let us taste every type of mead they had on them. Paul Holm, who works for the Long Island Railroad by day, has been dabbling in mead (or honeywine) for the past 15 years and has arrived at an amazing product.

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With so much bad news about Colony Collapse Disorder it was nice to see people dress up, let loose, and show their love and appreciation of honeybees. From tots to coordinated couples, everyone got in the mood. Below, a selection of some of our favorite costumes from the night.

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Sign the petition here to amend New York City's Health Code to allow beekeeping and keep urban biodiversity alive.

Related: Serious Eats Original Video: Save the Honeybees

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