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Astounding: 35,000 Bees Found in a Brooklyn Bedroom Ceiling
By Dan Nosowitz
A beekeeper in Brooklyn, New York made an astounding discovery last week: A report of some bees in a bedroom was just the tip of a 35,000-bee iceberg.
After seeing a few bees in her bedroom, East Flatbush resident Cherisse Mulzac called in a local bee expert, Mickey Hegedus (also known as "Mickey the Beekeeper"), a man known for his chemical-free, cruelty-free extraction of bees. But even Hegedus wasn't prepared for what he found above the bedroom ceiling.
Turns out the Mulzac family was playing host to an enormous, 35,000-strong beehive, right above their bedroom. The bees, Hegedus told the New York Post, might have snuck in through some loose bricks on the building's exterior and quietly built their hive for years, completely unbeknownst to the humans downstairs.
Even more interesting, Hegedus collected and gave a whopping 70 pounds of honey to the Mulzac family, saying it's "probably better than the stuff you can get in the store." In a side-note, Hegedus mentioned that the honey from urban bees is often cleaner than the honey collected from bees in more rural areas, which we found intriguing. Could it be true?
Beekeeping has been legally permitted in New York City since 2010, and there are now hundreds of urban beehives all around the five boroughs. And interestingly, despite terrifying downturns in the overall bee population, urban beehives have been thriving. "Counterintuitive as it may seem, data from the greater Boston area show that bees actually do better in the city," writes Noah Wilson-Rich of Tufts University.
Nobody is exactly sure why urban bees have higher survival rates, but there are theories. In a time when monocropping and eradicate-all-weeds mentalities have taken over farming, there's actually not all that much variety in food sources for honey bees in the countryside. And those single sources—corn, wheat, soy—are heavily dosed with pesticides, many of which have been linked to bee colony collapse.
Urban areas are not nearly as heavily policed—at least, not in terms of their plant life. Hardy local weeds spring up in every available corner. Backyards and parks have no reason to be sprayed with pesticides and so largely aren't. That's all great news for bees.
Research indicates that urban bees not only produce more honey than rural bees, but that the honey these city bees produce is actually cleaner, with fewer pesticide traces. And what could be more local than honey brewed a few feet over your head?
Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Zak Smith
It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:
By Hector Chapa
With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.
But can these masks be effective?
By Carey Gillam
Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.
With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.
Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.
Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.