The homeowners at Berkeley’s Green Faerie Farm tend to goats, chickens, rabbits and an extensive fruit and veggie garden all in their backyard, so adding one more element to their urban homestead was nearly an afterthought. “It just made sense. The bees helped pollinate the fruit,” explains urban farmer Mateo Rutherford, “we have noticed an increase in fruit production”.
Unlike the thousands of beekeepers worldwide who have complained of the mysterious disappearance of their bees, Rutherford says their bees are different. “They [conventional beekepers] put bees in monocrops whereas our bees they live in the city so they have a variety of flowers all the time. They probably have a couple hundred different flowers they’re eating from. Just like humans they need a diversity of food and a varied diet.”
In this video, Rutherford shows us the bees, the recycled hive boxes (out of scrap lumber) and the very important water source for their bees (an old hot tub).
* Note: Beekeeping is illegal in New York City (here’s a petition to legalize it), but is legal in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Portland, Paris, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver.