03/29/2011 10:57 am ET Updated May 29, 2011

City Gardens: The Bees' Needs

By guest blogger Amy Freitag

Amy Freitag is the executive director of New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and maintaining parks and community gardens in under-resourced New York City neighborhoods.

It turns out that there is a lot to bees.

After the first of my three days of beekeeping school, we all left the room with our heads swimming in information about everything from waggle dances to Varroa mites. This 10,000-year-old form of agriculture is a humbling reminder of the breadth and diversity of the world of growing and harvesting.

Urban gardeners have been working with bees for a long time, albeit under the radar, until recent legislation made beekeeping a legal activity in places like New York City. My friend Patrick raised bees in his community garden plot in Philadelphia almost two decades ago, and I now I have renewed respect, even awe, for what he and his fellow city-garden beekeepers accomplish in these tight urban spaces.

For the rest of this article and more from Maria Rodale, go to

Related Links:
Queen Bees, Cellphones and Colonel Mustard in the Ballroom - Maria's Farm Country Kitchen
Bees In Your Garden Could Save Our Food Supply -
New York Restoration Project