July 16, 2020
St. Barnabas Hospital joins the ranks of keepers of a rooftop honey bee colony.
A New York hospital in the Bronx is now onboard with the rooftop honey bee movement. St. Barnabas Hospital recently revealed it now has a bee colony located on its roof. Hundreds of thousands of honey bees are now residing atop the roof, but the hospital does not want people to worry about getting stung but would love them to concentrate on all the goodies these little honey bees are going to provide in the very near future.
The rooftop area of the hospital is in the midst of a complete makeover. According to a New York Post report, the hospital’s rooftop will now serve as the home to not only these honey bees but also a new garden and wellness center. In fact, the first honey harvest has already taken place, with about 150 pounds of the precious golden goo being produced by the new colony.
Mark Rosing, head of OBGYN at St. Barnabas hospital stated, “The honey actually is particular to this location, to where the bees are. So, it might actually have an immune benefit for our community because we live here. So, it’s Bronx special select honey. We all know that honey helps immune response and it even helps expose you to different antigens that bees pick up from the pollen. Who knows, maybe bees are part of the cure to COVID.”
The new wellness center is scheduled to open in September. It will feature, among other things, a fitness center, teaching kitchen, and what they are calling a “farmacy” that will sell vegetables and yes, honey. The latest bounty is expected to produce about 450 jars of local honey that will be sold at the wellness center once it is opened. The price tag is very reasonable at about $5 per jar. There are currently four colonies located atop the roof, each with about 70,000 honey bees. This should produce somewhere between 120 to 150 pounds of honey at every harvest.
The new location also happens to come with quite a view and plenty of supplies for the honey bees. Beekeeper Eric Hanan stated, “We’ve got the Bronx Zoo, we’ve got Botanic Gardens. There’s plenty of water sources for them. And from this height, I think that they kind of have a little leg up on not having to fly over the trees. They’re already at that height, and they don’t have to expend as much energy getting to their nectar sources.”
Source: New York Post