National Urban Beekeeping Day is celebrated annually on July 19. The day is set aside to celebrate the practice of keeping bee colonies in urban areas. Other names for urban beekeeping are hobby beekeeping and ‘backyard beekeeping. Apiculture refers to the practice of keeping and maintaining bees. At a time, it was prohibited to keep bees in urban areas, but recent discoveries show that bees kept in the city are healthier than those kept in the country and that bees have economic and environmental growth.
History of National Urban Beekeeping Day
On December 3, 2019, Detroit Hives, a non-profit organization, declared July 19 of every year as National Urban Beekeeping Day. The holiday was created to raise awareness about supporting urban beekeepers, inform the public on the role of urban beekeeping, and also to discuss the importance of bees in our environment. On July 21 of the same year, Jewell Jones introduced the H.R. Bill 141, a bill to declare July 19 as National Urban Beekeeping Day in the State of Michigan. This bill was granted and supported by ten State Representatives.
One of the challenges of urban beekeeping was swarming. While it is harmless, the sight of a swarming colony of bees in an urban area is enough to scare people away and disturb their day-to-day activities. People know that bee stings can be excruciating and are ever wary of getting stung by bees. Another challenge was that the increasing popularity of urban beekeeping led to lower honey yields as reported in some cities like New York. Then, there was the challenge of easy transmission of some disease agents that affect honey bees in urban areas.
These challenges led to numerous bee bans, especially in North American cities. But in recent times, these bans have been overturned. One of the major reasons for this was the health of the bees. Bees in urban colonies were found to be healthier and more productive than country bees. The inclusion of bees in the local food movement also helped in overturning bans, and from 1999 to 2012, there was an enormous increase in urban beekeepers. Although it is now mandatory to register beehives, a large number of beekeepers do not inform their city management.
National Urban Beekeeping Day timeline
The father of modern beekeeping, Anton Jansa, is born.
The couple Timothy Paule and Nicole Lindsey create Detroit Hives.
Detroit Hives declares July 19 as National Urban Beekeeping Day.
A state representative, Jewell Jones, introduces a bill to declare July 19 National Urban Beekeeping Day.
National Urban Beekeeping Day FAQs
Is Urban Beekeeping Day only celebrated in Detroit?
Although Detroit Hives declared this holiday, it is celebrated all over the United States.
What are some of the problems with urban beekeeping?
Some of the problems of urban beekeeping are the location of the hive, access to flowers, and regulations.
Which country has the most beehives?
India is the country with the largest number of beehives, about 12.2 million in total.
National Urban Beekeeping Day Activities
Visit a bee farm
There are lots of bee farms all over the country. Pay one of them a visit and learn more about bees.
Support a bee farmer
Bee farmers have a lot of work to do in trying to keep their bee farms running. Show them support by offering financial aid.
Share on social media
Let everyone know what today is. Share this article with your friends using the hashtag #nationalurbanbeekeepingday.
5 Interesting Facts About Beekeeping
Los Angeles’s first colonies
Christopher H. Shelton imported the first two honey bee colonies to Los Angeles in 1853.
Milwaukee allows urban beekeeping
In 2010, an ordinance was passed in Milwaukee allowing individuals to practice beekeeping in the urban center of the city.
Registered hives in Toronto
In 2011, there were over 107 registered hives in Toronto.
Beekeeping ban defeated
A ban on beekeeping was defeated in the Chicago suburb of Skokie in 2013.
Honey as remedy
In 2016, Timothy Paule discovered that local honey was able to cure a cold that other remedies couldn't.
Why We Love National Urban Beekeeping Day
Bees promote pollination
We celebrate this day to promote actions that will protect and enhance pollinators. It is also important to make sure these pollinators have the right habitat.
Urban beekeeping promotes bee diversity
We celebrate this day to promote bee abundance in urban areas, as it has various environmental and health benefits. This promotes bee diversity.
Urban beekeeping promotes beekeeping development
It’s impossible to have the various benefits of locally-made honey without bees. This means that it’s doubly important to promote the development of beekeeping.
National Urban Beekeeping Day dates