I’m far from home right now, and feeling it. I could use a touch of home…and for some reason honey seems very homey to me. Especially when it’s made at home! Don’t laugh, urban bee-keeping is becoming a big thing, as part of the local-vore, grow-your-own-food movement.
Beekeeping classes from Medina, Ohio, to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and New York are seeing an unexpected shift in enrollment. Numbers are way up as thousands of novices take up the hobby. And who are these new beekeepers? Increasingly, they’re women.
“The surge has really been with younger, urban women,” explains longtime instructor Kim Flottum, who teaches beekeeping in Medina.
Flottum estimates that there are about 100,000 backyard beekeepers across the United States. Exact numbers are hard to pin down. But subscriptions to the publication Bee Culture are on the rise. And when Flottum published a how-to book — An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Bees in Your Yard and Garden — 60,000 people snapped up copies. The book is aimed at making the hobby easier and using more lightweight equipment.