The Honeybee - November 14, 2012

It’s been quite a year for honeybees. After reports that honeybee populations are in decline—probably due to a common agricultural insecticide—backyard apiaries have come into fashion. And it’s a good thing, too, because honeybees pollinate many of our favorite plants, such as apple trees, asparagus, strawberries, and alfalfa. Rooftop hives have popped up in New York City, Seattle, and everywhere in between. Unfortunately, this hasn’t turned out entirely well in some places. Due to a warm winter and a balmy spring in 2012, rogue honeybee swarms kept NYPD officer Anthony Planakis—a.k.a. “Tony Bees”—buzzing all summer. He’s had to deal with swarms of bees on fire hydrants, swarms outside a Chase bank, and swarms enveloping a station wagon with a family trapped inside. Working with bees and hives is about overcoming fear. The hive is love incarnate, and through the hive we can rediscover what it means to live in peace with insects, the landscape, and each other.