Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beekeeping Allowed In Ginza, Tokyo - Why Banned In New York?

You may have heard of the successfull Ginza Honeybee Project, that started in 2006 and is now selling honey used in pound cakes and other sweets sold at patisseries and confectionaries in Ginza. Matsuya has some 30 employees who tend to the urban patch up on the roof garden as an after-work volunteer activity, according to The Japan Times:

It is great to see people becoming more aware of environmental issues. Each person takes action and hopefully that will spread to other people," said Shinpei Kono, who heads the project team.

The Matsuya department store in Ginza is supporting the Ginza honey bee project by giving the bees access to Matsuya's rooftop garden. They call this Ginza Green, and it is part of the company's efforts to take action on environmental issues. "Ginpachi" is a very Japanese way to abbreviate Ginza and the hachi of hachimitsu that becomes pachi, from the Japanese 蜂蜜 as bee and honey have the same kanji, but can sound different due to linguistic rules (changing ha to pa), thus you get Ginpachi... (Some clever people made a website called where the 8 is a pun on hachi, which can also mean "eight")

Farm Aid in Ginza is an event to bring locally produced vegetables and foods to the center of Tokyo this summer. The beekeepers from Ginza will take part in the Enjoy Eco events (do visit July 18).

I still don't understand why beekeeping would be illegal in New York, and if there are no good reasons, let's hope City Council member David Yassky's bill to abolish the ban will pass.

From the New York Times:

In attendance were New York City beekeepers, aspiring New York City beekeepers, beekeepers not from New York City, friends of beekeepers, friends of bees, people who like to dress as bees, people who like to dress their children as bees, bee-dressed children, one cross-dressing beekeeper, a couple of guys who spend much of their time dressed in armor, fans of honey, fans of local food and a team of French videographers.


Pandabonium said...

I hope they can get such laws changed. It will become vitally important to have bees in cities as efforts are made to produce more food locally.

Martin J Frid said...

Thanks P, good point. When will such arguments come to the fore and shape public policy - -