Beekeeper Alfonso Cestelos Sanz blows smoke on a beehive at the Ectagono community project in Mexico City September 12, 2017. — Thomson Reuters Foundation picture.
Figures from the agriculture ministry (SAGARPA) show the number of hives in Mexico City, as well as honey production, dropped by about 17 percent between 2006 and 2015.
By Sophie Hares
Oct 15, 2017
Urban beekeeping is on the rise in cities such as London and New York where homeowners, companies and restaurants are setting up rooftop hives that each house thousands of bees. But strict rules in densely packed Mexico City about the location of hives restrict them mainly to the city fringes.
As the city continues to expand, reducing green areas, beekeepers have less space to work, said Adriana Pena Veliz, a vet who advises Efecto Colmena (Beehive Effect), which rescues and relocates bee swarms.
“The bees are starting to lose their habitat,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Mexico ranks as one of the world’s biggest honey producers, churning out more than 55,000 tonnes last year from over 40,000 beekeepers who tend about 2 million hives around the country.
It wants to sign up more producers – but its bees are under pressure both in rural honey-producing areas and cities.