I have a dream. Well, I have several actually! One of them is to establish a Bee Garden in Sydney, and to encourage a renaissance in urban beekeeping. My dream is for people (kids in particular) to know more about bees... their extraordinary, selfless, hardworking nature and functional community structure... the amazing products of the hive (honey, bee pollen, royal jelly, propolis and beeswax)... to eat raw honey, in honeycomb, fresh from the hive... and for the flowers and veggie gardens of Sydney to enjoy the benefits. This is my call to action...
I would love there to be more beekeepers in Sydney, and more people knowledgeable and passionate about bees in Sydney.* Beehives grace the rooftops in New York (where classes sell out and the ban on keeping bees in the city was recently lifted), the veggie garden at The White House, they're in London (at Fortnum & Mason, The Royal Lancaster Hotel, actually all over London), not to mention in Paris at Paris Opera, and the Grand Palais on Paris' Champs Elysee. This blog also has great information and links. We need a bee renaissance in Sydney! Sign our petition and please help spread the word.
This dream was reignited recently when I was walking through the Botanic Gardens in Sydney for the first time in years, and was transported back to Luxembourg Gardens in Paris where I found the most fantastic apiary right there, in the sixth arrondissement of Paris, in the middle of the gardens. A few of my photographs are below. The garden had its 150th anniversary in 2006 and is looked after by Societe Centrale d'Apiculture. Each September they harvest they honey to sell in the Garden's Orangerie.
To kick along the process of establishing a Bee Garden in Sydney, I am hoping to collect enough signatures to show the relevant authorities that this is wanted and important. Sign our petition to register your support or interest in urban beekeeping.
* Note: this passion is not new, but it was reignited late last year when I read that Pittwater Council were spraying pesticides on the clover growing in the local parks lest kids accidentally step on a bee. Head shake. Eye roll. Yes, geniuses, far better to have kids running around on and breathing in pesticides than to have them wearing shoes in the park, or, God forbid, getting stung by a bee. Yes, a bee sting hurts. That does not mean you are having an anaphylactic reaction. There are far fewer people allergic to bee stings than peanuts.
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