A record of two years living with stinging but sweet bees in a city—thoughts, lessons, and feelings.
- Book Intro
"Beekeeping in Seoul? Are you sure?"
To most people, urban beekeeping is still an unfamiliar concept. They would see bees in parks or streets, but not many people know that there are beekeepers who care for bees and harvest their honey in cities. Some may assume that it’s possible only in the countryside or woods, but in fact, there are countless amateur beekeepers around the world who look after bees in cities. It’s a well-known fact that Michelle Obama engaged in beekeeping at the White House during the Obama administration.
Bees that fly around the city are excellent pollinators and honey producers. They also serve as a litmus paper that shows if a city is an adequate place to live in. Some may dismiss bees as scary or annoying, but without them, two thirds of the vegetables on supermarket shelves would be gone. As for people who are worried about the danger of bees, many cities are searching for ways to have humans and bees live together safely by drafting ordinances on urban beekeeping.
This book is a record of an environmental journalist who lived with bees in the middle of Seoul for two years, all of which happened unexpectedly while she was trying to do some simple research on urban beekeeping for a news article. It’s a story of bees, honey and flowers, and it offers an at-a-glimpse summary of the entire beekeeping process in each season, from getting beehives ready to harvesting honey. Practical information about beekeeping, scientific facts about bees’ ecology, and ecological aspects in relation to urban environmental issues are blended smoothly with the author’s experience and thoughts, allowing readers to look into the interesting reality of urban beekeeping. A glossary and a list of helpful books about beekeeping are attached at the end of the book as a guide for rookie beekeepers, and, to ensure the book contains only accurate information, it was proofread by Urban Bees Seoul, an urban beekeeper group that operates apiaries near Seoul.
- About the Author
Born and raised in Seoul, author Choi Woori has always been a city person whose dream was to work as an environmental activist. She eventually became a journalist and met the world of beekeeping while covering an item for the news. It was as if bees were meant to be her second companion animal, following the Yorkshire terrier with which she had lived for 16 years until its death. For two years, she spent every weekend visiting an apiary in Seoul and became an amateur beekeeper, striving to learn everything about bees, from their structure to their soul. Communicating with bees was as interesting as a science class, and the breeze in the apiary blew off the steam of city life. She currently covers environmental issues, searching for ways to build a world in which humans and nature can coexist peacefully.
Selected for promotion support from the National Environmental Education Center, Ministry of Environment