Here comes the honey!

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Megan Paska shows off her honey. [Photographs: Eric Tourneret]

Amateur beekeepers and honey junkies alike were given cause to celebrate yesterday after the New York City's Board of Health voted to overturn a ban on beekeeping in the five boroughs.

The decision was cheered by beekeeping groups and their members, who have been lobbying the City Council and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to remove bees from a list that prohibits the possession of certain "wild animals" and "venomous insects."

For many years until this point, hundreds of urban apiculturists had been operating covertly in New York City, living in fear of having their hives discovered and getting slapped with fines ranging from $200 upwards to $2,000. But now that beekeeping has moved out of the shadows we can expect an influx of hyper-local honey for NYC residents.

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A Brooklyn Apiary. [Photograph: Megan OHearn]

Megan Paska, the former masked vigilante behind Brooklyn Honey, was one of the many people cheering yesterdays decision.

"I am overjoyed by yesterday's judgment to overturn the ban. This will allow me to expand my apiary size without fear of punishment. I plan to use these hives as a tool for educating my neighbors and inspiring fellow urban farming enthusiasts."

Paska is also supplying restaurants and stores in the Greenpoint/Williamsburg area. "You will be able to find my honey at Whisk in Williamsburg and The Brooklyn Standard in Greenpoint come early July."

Beekeepers strongly believe in the flavor uniqueness of each hive's honey, an apiary terroir so to speak, based on the specific types of food and conditions in the immediate area.

So which neighborhoods produce the best varieties of honey? And which city park or garden best supports these deliciously industries insects? We are now free to find out!

About the author: Carson Poole calls the Finger Lakes home but is living in New York City trying hard to maintain his farm boy credibility. His first job, at age 10, was in roadside corn sales. He is known to enjoy fresh local food and handcrafted spirits and liqueurs.

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