INCHEON, March 2 (Korea Bizwire) – A year after they settled down on a rooftop in the urban Bupyeong-gu (district), 220,000 bees survived the cold winter. It was a meaningful result of the ‘Urban Bees Seoul’ project, which was launched in 2013 by the Seoul Beekeeping Cooperative.
A total of 19 beehives were installed in the metropolitan area, to increase the number of areas where humans and bees can coexist.
Officials from Bupyeong-gu installed six beehives, with each home to 45,000 bees. The number was reduced to five after the frosty and windy season, but more than 220,000 bees managed to survive on their honey reserves.
Bupyeong-gu officials are now busy preparing for the honey producing period in hopes of seeing another fruitful year.
As the hot and dry city is suitable for beekeeping, the district office plans to add five more beehives this year. The additional beehives will be installed in quiet areas with flowers nearby. The installation of the additional hives will be carried out when the flowers are in bloom, as honey cannot be produced when there are no flowers.
The city is anticipating that when acacia flowers bloom, quality honey will be harvested just like last year. The bright yellow flowers are responsible for 70 percent of the total quantity of honey produced in Korea.
The bees typically produce honey between May and July, and stored approximately 62 kilograms of honey in 2015. The honey harvested from the Bupyeong area was graded as ‘excellent’, meeting all criteria.
Officials from Bupyeong-gu office commented that they are still establishing detailed plans to increase beekeeping in urban areas. They hope that their efforts will change the city’s image into an ‘eco-friendly city’, instead of a dry industrial complex.
The government is also in favor of the project, providing support to encourage those who wish to keep bees in the metropolitan area.
In January, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced the creation of a ‘City Beekeeping Program’, an opportunity for city residents who wish to experience beekeeping to learn and try the craft.
A total of 25 local governments selected a bee farm to educate 500 city residents about beekeeping and producing honey over a period of five months.
The ministry hopes that through its beekeeping program, city residents will gain a better understanding of beekeeping, while also providing a source of income after for the elderly after retirement.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)