More City Bees, Less Country Bees

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While the City of Boise inches closer to new regulations on beekeeping, an Associated Press report this morning says healthy hives are thriving in cities, in spite of a global die off.

Researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of colony collapse disorder but pathogens, parasites, environmental strains and poor bee management have been blamed. However experts believe city bees are doing better than their country cousins because urbanites are building hives at a brisker pace. Even the Obama White House keeps beehives in the garden. In recent years, New York, Denver, Colo.; Milwaukee, Wisc.; and Santa Monica, Calif., have all made beekeeping legal. The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates about one-third of the nation's diet directly or indirectly benefits from bee pollination.

Boise officials are soliciting input from neighborhood associations and beekeeping enthusiasts in an effort to clearly define city ordinances on beekeeping. The Urban Agriculture Committee is also considering livestock, poultry and urban farms.

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