For one of my ten negotiated briefs throughout Design Practice III, and, in particular, one of my priority briefs, is to design a starter kit for Urban Beekeeping, as something I am particularly interested in, and I feel that I could get a lot from in terms of a brief/project outcome with both research and items to be produced, such as a branded hive/hive utensils (such as gloves), along with necessary legality documentation, an information pack, etc.
Although I know a little about the practice of Urban Beekeeping, I've decided to start from the very initial research basics, and hopefully aspire to "become a professional for a day" and learn more about the practical side of beekeeping as the weeks go on throughout the course of the project.
Written below is sourced information from the independent Urban Beekeeping Wikipedia source page.
Urban beekeeping is the practice of beekeeping in an urban environment. It has become popular in cities such as New York and London, which saw a 220% increase in beekeepers between 1999 and 2012. And the practice has been recently made legal in many American cities, including New York.
Unperturbed by urban pollutants, some say bees from city apiaries are "healthier and more productive than their country cousins". As cities have limited greenspaces, however, the increasing popularity of the hobby may lead to lower honey yields as has happened in London and New York. Another problem created by a surfeit of bees is swarming, when a queen leaves an overcrowded colony with a retinue of workers to start her own.
The number of bee hives varies greatly from city to city, and official counts may be inaccurate; a high proportion of hives are not registered. In 2012, an estimated 75% of London apiaries were operated without license. That same year about half of New York hives were thought to be unlicensed. An estimated 3,200 apiaries exist in London, 400 in New York, and at least 100 in Toronto.
Urban beekeeping can be considered part of the local food movement.
In some cities, beekeeping is done by organizations as well as individuals. Many are hotels. In London, bees are kept at department store Fortnum & Mason, Lambeth Palace, the London Stock Exchange, the Natural History Museum, and at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, etc. Hives once stood atop the Bank of England as well. In New York, the InterContinental The Barclay Hotel, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and the York Prep School all keep bees. In Paris, bees are found at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Opéra Garnier. Toronto counts the Fairmont Royal York (in fact, the Fairmont Hotel Group keeps bees at 18 of its properties), the Opera House, andCasa Loma as host to apiaries. In Denver, the Brown Palace Hotel has its own hive, and The White House is one place bees are kept in Washington DC.