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Every once in a while (okay, maybe a little more frequently than that) I have to smack myself in the head and wonder how did I ever live down there? I just learned that beekeeping is illegal in New York City. Okay, I know, I didn’t live in NYC, but for crying out loud I could see NYC, I could smell NYC and if I googled anything, it came up with one of them in NYC because it was that close. So, evidently, the hobby that my husband has taken up for years up here (even before we moved) is illegal there. Such a strange thing, since what did a poor honeybee (or millions of them) do to anyone in NYC? Other than provide some delicious honey? Just Food has declared June 22-28 NYC Pollinator Week in an attempt to draw attention to the ridiculous law in effect and change it. If you are in NYC or close by, evidently there are plenty of events, including the Beekeepers Ball.
According to the Justfood.org here, Letterman style, are the Top 5 Reasons to legalize beekeeping (besides it being a stupid law-that’s my 2 cents by the way)
Local Food Production
Honeybee pollination will increase the productivity of NYC’s community gardens, botanical gardens and public parks.
Health and Nutrition
Local honey contains small amounts of pollen from local plants, helping build immunity to these pollens and aiding in alleviating allergies.
Encourage Honeybee Survival
The Pollinator Habitat Protection Act of 2007 designates pollinator protection as a “national priority resource concern.” Urban beekeeping can help mitigate the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder.
Job and Youth Training
Beekeeping programs across the country provide job skills and training to youth and the unemployed in production, sales, marketing and management.
Beekeeping provides a rare opportunity for urban school children to connect with how and where food is produced.
It is always disturbing to learn of someone’s death. It is particularly disturbing to me to learn that the death was self-inflicted. It’s even more disturbing when that self-inflicted death is close by, either in terms of relationship or proximity. Last night the news reported the death of Patrick Farrow, the brother of Mia Farrow. He owned an art gallery in Castleton, not far from us here in Vermont. I didn’t know the man, I didn’t frequent the gallery – he was nothing to me other than a name in the paper – yet his death, which has now been classified a suicide, is disturbing to me. Approximately a year ago, I learned of the self-inflicted death of another man, this one both geographically and personally close to my husband and I. We knew him, we drank with him, we laughed with him. Equally disturbing.
Disturbing because I cannot fathom the depth of despair, the lack of connection, the isolation which must drive someone to that course of action. I cannot understand living in a world where someone believes the only way out is through death’s door. A world where they believe that they don’t make a difference if they are alive or dead – or they are better off dead – or no one cares. I know nothing about the circumstances surrounding the death of the gallery owner, I know something of the circumstances of the death of the man we knew, yet I still do not understand. Are our minds truly capable of sinking us into such a place, where one can feel that no one or no thing is worth drawing another breath into our lungs? Was there no one that either of these people felt that he could speak to – or that would listen to him? Putting religious implications aside, suicide is just so sad, so desperate, so empty – such an indication of how much one can feel alone in a crowd of people. While the person that self inflicts a mortal wound may believe that he is relieving himself of pain, does he consider the pain that he leaves behind? The guilt, the unanswered questions, the mental flagellation that the survivors endure, wondering “what if?” for the remainder of their lives. No matter how alone, or insignificant one may feel at that moment to commit such an act, there are those people left behind, who will bear the repercussions of that person’s act for the remainder of their lives. Death itself is so devastating when it occurs through outside forces, or by natural means. Whether the recipient is young or old, healthy or ill, the loss is still real and the grief is a cross to bear. It is truly unimaginable that there are people out there that must endure the grieving and the guilt associated with a death that was done by one’s own hand. My condolences go out to those that are left behind, shaking their heads, wondering why? For them, there is no “easy” way out. This has been thrust upon them and they will live with it.