We've already seen studies that suggest that big city bees may be healthier than their rural counterparts. And that's something Bryon Waibel—proprietor of America's only urban beekeeping store Her Majesty's Secret Beekeeper—would agree with. Having seen his own urban bees thrive while his Dad's bees in the countryside of Minnesota have struggled, Waibel is convinced that the city may be the home of the future for honeybees.
Of course the space for large-scale apiaries is somewhat limited in the city, but the very existence of an urban beekeeping supply store suggests more-and-more hobbyists are getting started and keeping a hive here and a hive there. Given what we know about diversity versus monocultures, and the resilience of distributed systems as opposed to centralized ones, that can only be a good thing.
Given recent attempts to redesign the beehive for an urban environment, not to mention the revival in interest of Warré and Top-Bar hives, it's interesting to note that Waibel stocks primarily mainstream, traditional Langstroth hives which continue to be the beehive of choice for most beekeepers in the States.
When I suggested that a beautiful artist's houseboat was the American Dream redefined, I mentioned I was having a hard time keeping up with Fair Companies' awesome video output. And then they go and do it again with another great story. Keep up the good work guys.
Now if I ever get over my own experiences as a failed beekeeper, I'll keep an eye out for stores like this in my neck of the woods.