According to findingDulcinea, private beekeeping has been illegal in NYC since 1999, but may be on its way back thanks to a new bill, and maybe to the Obamas.
Apparently many New Yorkers had been ignoring the ban, and “It was the already-present beekeeping community that encouraged councilman David Yassky to introduce a bill that would allow beekeepers to keep bees if they are licensed.”
I guess, in an election year, Yassky figures he’ll catch more flies with honey. (Thank you, I’m here all week.) I do like his idea of licensing them, though. I mean, you don’t want your neighbor to suddenly fill his apartment with hives without anybody knowing about it. Plus it’s almost worth joining the NYPD just for the off chance that I’ll get to respond to a complaint about bees and ask the proprieter if I can see his bee license.
Of course, allowing bees as pets isn’t all roses. (Sorry, I just can’t help myself.) I mean, if you think the DMV is bad, try spending a day at the BBL (Bureau of Bee Licensing, natch).
The most interesting part of the article, though, comes a bit further down, when it mentions that the same 1999 ordinance that banned bees also banned poisonous snakes, ferrets, and elephants. Elephants! Was this a problem prior to 1999? I can’t imagine that pet elephants were very widespread even when they were legal. I mean, just the mental image of the pooper scooper you’d need should be enough to dissuade you from the elephant section at Petco.