Urban Beekeeping with Tim O’Neil


Bees may be a nuisance for city dwellers but for beekeeper Tim O’Neil, what’s an annoyance to many is his livelihood and lifelong passion. O’Neil started beekeeping at the age of 13. Now 14 years late he is managing hives and heading a beekeeper apprenticeship program at Brooklyn Grange, a rooftop garden in the Brooklyn Navy Yards.

O’Neil also manages bees at Borough Bees and several hives at different locations throughout Brooklyn. A pair of hives at the Added Value Community Farm in Red Hook, Brooklyn, died over the winter. O’Neil and Alex Brown, photographer and volunteer at the Brooklyn Navy Yards, are introducing new bees to the abandoned hives in Red Hook.

Beekeeping was illegal until 2010. Legal beekeepers must register their hives with the city. But the legalization, urban beekeeping is a growing hobby in the city. Beekeepers like Tim O’Neil, whose grandfather also kept bees, are also passing on the trade to others.


A Hiroshima bombing survivor recounts her experience

Setsuko Thurlow’s experience on August 6, 1945 remains vivid. The bombing of Hiroshima happened when Thurlow, then 13, was at an army base decoding secret messages. Her family was scattered across the city. Her mother was at home. Her father was out of the town fishing. Her sister and her 4-year-old nephew were near the center of the blast. Thurlow’s sister didn’t live past a week.

Some memories fade with time. But for Thurlow, now 79, the harrowing images of death and destruction have marked her permanently. Now she shares her painful memories with high school students, government officials and activists as a part of Hibakusha Stories.

Continue reading

Social Networking and Skills Development

The majority of people still rely on their social networks to keep up to date with technology, developments and news in their careers, despite websites specifically designed for career developments.

In an unscientific survey of 30 respondents, many relied on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to learn about tips, tricks and developments in their field. More than two thirds of the respondents used Facebook to follow their colleagues or influential experts. With the new subscription option on the networking site and the ease that links and new knowledge can be shared, it’s easy to see why. Twitter closely followed Facebook with 18 responses.

Continue reading

Small studio in Sunnyside celebrates Filipino Heritage month with exhibitions and readings

Bliss on Bliss Studio hides behind a black gate and in the basement of an apartment building. The building’s facade is unremarkable, but once inside the smell of incense, the paint brushes on the wall, and the mural show that this is a realm of creativity.

Friday marks the fourth week of exhibitions and talks with local Filipino artists for Filipino Heritage Month. Ged Merino, in his early 50s, opened his private studio to Filipino artists last summer. He recently teamed up with Queens Poet Lore Paolo Javier to curate and create the series, called “Ebolusyon: A Gathering of Contemporary Philippine American Visual and Literary Artists.”

Continue reading

Newly graduated dancer finds his footing

Dance instructor Jeffrei Londono, 23, has a hectic schedule on Saturdays. He teaches classes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. He has only a two-hour break before he has to arrive at the Thalia Spanish Center to perform in “Colombia en Salsa.” As a part of the Mestizo Dance Company, Londono dances every weekend until the end of October.

Still, the schedule suits Londono, a recent graduate from the New School. When he’s not teaching at Mimi for Me or dancing at the Thalia Spanish Center, he’s creating his own choreographies, organizing shows or freelance dancing at Sweet Sixteen birthday parties.

“Sitting in a chair can be so…” said Londono, before mimicking a dance as he sat on the edge of his seat. “Sometimes I just gotta move, you know.”

The “Colombia en Salsa” hasn’t even finished yet, and he’s already planned his next move. The Cali, Colombia native is organizing a show for Dec. 18, comprised of his young students and other friends.

Londono also plans to audition for “So You Think You Can Dance,” a reality dance show. But he said he still needs to take gymnastic classes.

“I need to learn some cool jumps,” Londono said.

Returning to an all Ramen diet: college graduates and unemployment

For a long time a college diploma was a golden ticket to livelihood, a mortgage and adulthood.

Then along came the recession and the linear storyline for most adults with college diplomas, often called “millennials,” between the ages of 18-29, abruptly ended. According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report published in August 2011, the number of unemployed youth rose to 18.6 million in July.

Continue reading