Science, Tech & Environment

In Britain, Growth of Urban Beekeeping May Be Hurting Bees

This story is a part of

Human Needs

This story is a part of

Human Needs


A European honey bee extracts nectar (Photo: John Severns)

Urban apiculture: that's a fancy way of saying beekeeping in the city.

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In recent years, Britain has seen a beekeeping boom in urban areas. Tending a hive is the latest way to get a bit of "green cred" in the city.

In London alone, the number of hives has more than doubled in the past five years, according to figures released by Britain's National Bee Unit.

But the up-tick in city apiculture has some scientists wondering if it might be doing the insects more harm than good.

We speak with Dr. Karin Alton, who is with the Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex. Her suggestion for urbanites looking to help? Consider planting bee-friendly plants instead of starting a hive.