Image from article “Urban Beekeeping Culture” by Samantha Donaldson
Many benefits arise from hobbyist beekeepers. Honey bees are vital for the survival of many fruits nuts and seeds that are essential for much of the wildlife. At the same time, honey bees pollinate a number of native and exotic plants and crops that are important in erosion control. The contribution of honey bees to home gardens and all types of ecosystems has been proven repeatedly.
In the northern states, on both commercial fields and in home gardens, honey bees are the chief pollinators of any summer squash that flower before July 1, when the first ground nesting bees emerge. In the case of cucumbers, melons and a variety of home garden crops, the pollination is done by honey bees throughout the season. Discussions with growers on the Eastern shore of Maryland indicate that the production of pickling cucumbers and melons in that area would be impossible without honey bees.
As urban rooftop beekeeping becomes more and more the norm, we continue to see a rise in the output of ecosystems, even in the most desolate areas of our culture – ultra urbanized city centers – even in the middle of New York City the effects of bees are being noticed by chefs with rooftop gardens. You can never have too little land for bees, they find ways to get food, and with just a little help from a beekeeper they can not only pollinate and help the local flora, but also make some wonderful honey!