Thursday, September 30, 2010

This Weekend: Exciting Things

It was a long weekend, but I got a LOT done, all of which I'll be talking about here over the next couple of days (promise.) Last week, I gave you a picture preview of at least one of the things accomplished this weekend- all of the honey in those supers has been extracted, bottled, and stored (and eaten).

Today, however, I am preparing for the NEW New York, a DIY-themed green block party that is being held on Saturday October 2nd at 3rd street between Hoyt and Bond in Gowanus. I was kindly asked to host a beekeeping table, so I will be there armed with beekeeping equipment, flyers, and yes... BEES!


Here's the official blurb:
The NEW New York: GreenHomeNYC's DIY Green Block Party, Saturday October 2nd 10am - 6pm, will give New Yorkers tangible experience with ways to live green(er). Catering to citizens anywhere on the green spectrum from curious to committed, this event will bring concepts to life through hands-on activities. For example, a local compost vendor, Vokashi, will sell compost kits as well as have compost on hand to smell and examine up close. Recycle-A-Bicycle will demonstrate how to repair a bike and take donations of old bikes. Bring your old clothes to be recycled through Wearable Collections, and your e-waste through the Lower East Side Ecology Center. In addition to over 45 vendors, there will be special neighborhood tours such as a "ride-along" on a brownstone's energy audit, a trip to a green roof, and a tour of Third + Bond, which is anticipating LEED-Gold.

In keeping with the theme, the NEW New York itself will be green: using biodiesel and compostable food containers, recycling trash and composting food-waste, minimizing trash by asking vendors to present paperless, and purchasing carbon off-sets.

Visit our website for more information, and to sign up for events, demonstrations, and building tours.

Come out, ask me questions, see the bees at work and check out all the other cool tables! It's going to be a lot of fun, and I hope to see you there!


  1. Hi Tim,

    Just wanted to say it was great talking to you yesterday at the GreenHome block party (even tho' I didn't have time to introduce myself) - you were so interesting & inspiring. I never thought about beekeeping but I'm certainly a little curious about it now..

    Is there a good book about beekeeping that you might recommend? How many hours do you spend per day on it? Is it a drain on finances the way other "pets" are?

    I'm also curious as to how your neighbors feel about your hobby (one of my places is upstate in close proximity to several other houses) & whether they could possibly shut you down in case their kids get stung? I noticed the zero energy brownstone house tour has a beehive on the top floor roof garden.. don't the parents worry about the kids?

    Anyway hope these are not strange or negative Qs! All best, Lida

  2. Hi Lida,

    I'm glad you stopped by and had a good time! I hope I got to all of your questions- it turned out to be a very busy day!

    I'm actually working on a page with recommended books and equipment for beginners - I'll be sure to write about it when I get it up.

    In the meantime, I *highly* recommend "The Beekeeper's Handbook, Third Edition" by Diana Sammataro and Alphonse Avitabile. It's the book I started with, and I still have a copy. I think it's very well written and is a great resource for both beginning and experienced beekeepers alike.

    One of the great things about bees is that under the best of circumstances, they are very low maintenance (although when things go awry, they can require some serious time commitment.) A few hours a week will usually be enough. They make their own food, gather their own water and clean up after themselves, so mostly your main commitment is checking them regularly for signs of disease and giving them more space when they need it. The more experienced you become, the more efficiently you'll use your time.

    Financially, the initial investment in equipment can be a burden for some (including me.) That said, a few hundred dollars will buy you all the equipment you'll need to get started and it'll last for years, or even decades.

    Neighbors can be complicated. I think it's important to have a 'good neighbor policy' and be open with them about your hobby. Communication is key- talk to them about bees and beekeeping, explain to them how important bees are, and help them get past any fears they may have. Sharing honey with them isn't a bad idea either.

    If they're still nervous, invite them to come over and see you work with your bees (once you're comfortable with them yourself.) Show them how unaggressive and calm they are, and how unafraid you are. It'll rub off on them.

    I'm going to cover 'good neighbor policies' in a future post, but I hope that answered your questions for now.