Berlin summt!
Authors: Elena Capatana Group 06 - MA

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Urban beekeeping means essentially exactly what it says. It is the simple idea of keeping bees in an urban environment, on the rooftops of buildings. This project has been developing for a while starting with very highly populated cities. In Paris it has been around from the 1985 and since 1999 this ‘hobby’ has been gaining momentum in New York and London, even though it has only been legalized recently. There are approximately 3200 apiaries in London, 400 in New York, at least 100 in Toronto and 60 in Melbourne, Australia. The numbers are continuously growing and it is safe to say that urban beekeeping has become a big trend in the local food movement everywhere. Mostly, beekeeping is done by individuals but sometimes hotels like the Waldorf Astoria in New York are using the honey from their own apiaries for cocktails or for dishes in their restaurant. In an interview the executive chef David Garcelon told LiveScience : "We love having the honey. [It] is such a versatile thing that you can use in so many dishes. And it has a story behind it that we can share with guests, many of whom can't believe that there are beehives in Manhattan." In Germany, awareness projects like “Berlin summt!” try to familiarize local inhabitants with the wonderful insect. Hans Oberländer is the initiator of the project and also the director of the HU-Nord university cafeteria. It is on the rooftop of this building that he keeps his precious apiaries. A similar project was launched by ZDF- Morgenmagazin, a national morning TV program, on the rooftop of its building in Berlin. In 2011 they started keeping a beehive and regularly reported on its condition and evolution in order to make people more aware about bees. There is also a company which sells a basic beekeeping kit for people who want to keep them on their rooftops. Due to the fact that bees are essentially insects, the production of honey is depending on multiple factors like: the right weather, the right temperature, the health of the colony and so forth. Even though, according to records, city bees have overall produced more honey than their rural counterparts, a record of an estimate average does not yet exist. Therefore we are obliged to use the standard of 25 kg honey production per year per colony. The price of organic honey is greatly influenced by the type of flower the nectar comes from, honey from different flowers ranges from 10-14 euros per kg. Even though new beekeepers barely break even in the first few years, at these prices they have the opportunity to make a substantial profit within the first five years.

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