Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.
I'm searching for input on how to propose the creation of a publicly accessible apiary to CABQ. Given the importance that bees play in the success of agricultural economies and the environment as a whole, I feel that getting support from the city for one or more strategically located public apiaries should be a reasonable goal. Unfortunately, I don't know who to approach within the city government to even begin the process towards approval. So, I'm reaching out to the community with hopes that someone may be able to advise me on how to proceed! I've created a rough diagram (attached) of what a location might look like, and would be happy to receive any constructive feedback for improvements. I'm not much of a digital artist, so I did what I could with my knowledge of PowerPoint. I've read of a few other locations throughout the country that have established community apiaries, but it's unclear to me whether they are receiving support from the local government for their operation. Still, they serve as proof that the concept isn't a just a pipe dream. Anyways, any tips on how to move forward or reasons why I shouldn't are equally welcome. Thanks in advance!
Thanks so much for sharing this here. Sara Mancini (Office of Neighborhood Coordination, Manager) may be able to point you in the right directing. Here email is email@example.com. Also, city counselors Isaac Benton (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Brad Winter (email@example.com) were involved in passing the Bee City USA resolution. They would be important to reach out to.
I really appreciate your idea and the work you have done thus far. I think this is a great idea.
Thanks Amy! I'll reach out to Sara, Isaac, and Brad tomorrow. Hopefully they'll offer some good insight into applicable processes.
So in a couple weeks I'm scheduled to meet with Dave Simon, CABQ Director of Parks & Recreation and Colleen McRoberts, CABQ Open Space Superintendent for an initial discussion on the idea of creating a public apiary for the city. According to his assistant, Dave Simon sees potential for creating such a resource for city residents within one of the open spaces which is why Colleen is also attending.
I strongly believe that developing this resource could greatly benefit the city's natural environment as well as bring greater local awareness to apiculture. So I'm looking forward to receiving their input on the feasibility of realizing this goal. I plan on using the design that I attached to my original post as a point of reference for discussions, but I would greatly appreciate some feedback on the design from more senior members of this forum. I generated that design based on only a couple years of beekeeping under my belt and brief Google research into similar initiatives across the country. I'm sure some on this forum have much more educated opinions on design considerations, such as inter-hive spacing/density, distance from certain man-made structures such as cell towers, access to particular pollen sources, adequate protection from intruders etc. So I'd really appreciate any constructive feedback you may have so I can best present the idea to CABQ!
Or just let me know if you even like this idea and think it could benefit yourself or any other resident of ABQ! Public support for this project will surely influence the city's decision to move forward, so I'd like to at least get a general feel for whether established beekeepers are behind the effort. I'll be sure to post another update after the meeting to keep everyone interested informed. Keeping my fingers crossed that they bite on the idea!
For those that are interested, I met with Dave Simon and Colleen McRoberts yesterday, and they were very receptive to the idea of allocating resources to the development of a public apiary. Both expressed concern over the threat to pollinators in the area and see this as another effort that could be added to CABQ initiatives to make the city more bee-friendly. Colleen cited an existing formal relationship between CABQ and ABQ Beeks that could be expanded to facilitate such an operation. Both Dave and Colleen see the CABQ Open Space farmlands as being good candidates for sites to co-locate one or more apiaries. What they need before they can formally pursue development is input from experienced members of the ABQ beekeeper community regarding the following:
- Criteria for evaluating potential locations (i.e. proximity to food, water, and any threats to their health)
- General design of the site based on beekeeping best practices and member necessity
- Assessment of the resources ABQ Beeks would be willing to devote to operating such a location in coordination with the city (i.e. certifying new beekeepers, site upkeep, contributing to site use guideline development etc)
If there's genuine interest from the ABQ beekeeping community in this idea then Dave and Colleen would like to meet with more members of the beekeeping community to start ironing out more specifics. Thoughts?