Text and photos by Tom Brenner
As I first walked up the concrete sidewalk beside St. Vincent’s church, all I could hear was the frequent hum of cars passing on the Jones Falls Expressway. When I moved closer to the church courtyard, the buzz of bees became louder and louder. Beside me were Steve and Angie McDaniel, owners of the McDaniel Honey Farm of Carroll County. They came to transplant their box-colony of honeybees from Baltimore city to Manchester, MD.
In the past four years, honeybees in urban locations have been dying at alarming rates due to increased pesticide use in cities. Previously cities were considered safer areas for bees to be reproduced due to low pesticide usage. Rural areas were statistically worse due to high pesticide use by farmers in order to protect crops from pests and invasive species. Now, with new laws in place to protect insects, the bees once again have a chance to thrive in the countryside.