A contestation is underway in Australian cities between humans and the European honeybee, which has heightened in recent years as amateur beekeeping has emerged in response to environmental concerns. This paper reports on a brief ethnographic encounter among old and new amateur beekeepers located across Sydney, Australia. Older beekeepers were motivated mainly by a desire for a social hobby, whereas younger apiarists were attracted by the role bees play in addressing environmental concerns, including biodiversity, food self-sufficiency, and greening the city. However, the amateur beekeeper appears to be at risk from a series of conflicts: among themselves (registered and unregistered keepers), and with commercial keepers and suburban residents. These conflicts undermine the novel role that amateur beekeepers, with their distinct methods and perspectives, play in fostering biodiversity, health, and sustainability towards the ecological city.
Australian Honeybee Industry Council (ahbic)ahbic submission to Australian Government Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources reportMore than honey: The future of the Australian honey bee and pollination industries2008Canberra, AustraliaThe Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
Commonwealth of AustraliaMore than honey: The future of the Australian honey bee and pollination industries2008CanberraHouse of Representatives, Australian Standing Committee on Primary Industries and Resources
Department of Primary Industries (dpi)The small hive beetle: A beekeeping pest2010Retrieved November 10 2012 from http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/animal-diseases/bees/ag1080-small-hive-beetle-a-beekeeping-pest
MasonD.DixonJ.IsaacsB.EdwardsF.HallG.csiro project: Urbanism, climate adaptation and healthBriefing paper: The dynamic situation of urban agriculture in the Sydney basin Project 5: Identifying and characterising resilient urban food systems to promote population health in a changing climate2011February