The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved a new law authorizing backyard beekeeping as of the spring. The initiative started when Hartsdale resident Mona Fraitag spoke to town representatives, according to Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. “She wanted to be a beekeeper; we found out that it wasn’t authorized by law, so we had some hearings…and there was a lot of support for this,” Feiner says.
Greenburgh Nature Center Apiary
The honeybee population has declined over the years due in part to colony collapse disorder, or CCD, a phenomenon in which large amounts of worker bees leave the queen and disappear. There are many theories as to why this happens, including disease, misuse of pesticides, climate change, changes in habitat, or poor management practices. Some estimates say CCD affects up to one-third of US honeybees, causing significant economic losses. According to the Town of Greenburgh, honeybees pollinate approximately one-third of the food we eat, which makes them a crucial part of New York’s agricultural sector. “[Residents] were concerned more about the need for pollination, and environmental impacts, the honey bees producing honey, pollinating plants,” says Feiner. “With colony collapse disorder, people are worried that the honeybees are disappearing.”