National Urban Beekeeping Day Date in the current year: July 19, 2024

National Urban Beekeeping Day A lot of people associate beekeeping with countryside, but urban beekeeping has been a growing trend since the 2000s. National Urban Beekeeping Day is celebrated annually on July 19 to raise awareness of the practice of urban beekeeping and its benefits.

Beekeeping (apiculture) has a very long history. It is believed that humans first switched from collecting honey from wild bees to keeping bees in artificial hives about 9,000 years ago in North Africa. Beekeeping was practiced in ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient China, and by the Mayas.

However, urban beekeeping, also known as backyard beekeeping or hobby beekeeping, is a relatively recent development. The practice of keeping beehives in towns and cities used to be discouraged, heavily regulated or even outright prohibited, mostly due to concerns associated with swarming (although bee swarms are mostly harmless, they tend to disturb or even frighten people).

Over the past few years, many cities have overturned bans on urban beekeeping due to its benefits. It is believed that bees from urban apiaries are healthier than those kept in the country because cities have greater biodiversity and fewer pesticides. Honeybees pollinate plants in urban parks, gardens and farms, helping maintain biodiversity in urban ecosystems and provide communities with locally grown fresh produce.

In addition, urban beekeeping helps slow down the decline in bee population and gives city dwellers a way to connect with nature without leaving the city. Urban apiaries provide locally produced honey to residents and have educational benefits for children from local schools. Although beekeeping in urban areas is not without its challenges, most urban beekeepers are convinced that the pros outweigh the cons and find their hobby deeply satisfying.

Since urban beekeeping turned into a trend, many cities have become home to active beekeeping communities. For example, notable North American cities with urban apiaries include Chicago, Detroit, Kansas City (Kansas), Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Montreal, New York City, Toronto, and Vancouver. Outside of North America, urban beekeeping has been reported in Bangalore, Berlin, Johannesburg, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo, and other major cities around the globe.

National Urban Beekeeping Day was launched in December 2019 by Detroit Hives, a nonprofit organization that transforms vacant lots in Detroit into pollinator friendly spaces in order to provide food for bee colonies and help create sustainable local communities. The main goals of the observance are to highlight the importance of bees for the urban environment, raise awareness of the benefits of urban beekeeping, and increase support for urban beekeepers.

There are many different ways to join the celebration of National Urban Beekeeping Day. You can learn more about bees and urban beekeeping, visit an urban apiary near you, support a local beekeeper, and post about the holiday on social media with the hashtags #NationalUrbanBeekeepingDay and #UrbanBeekeepingDay.

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