Vintage HandPicked: High End Bees

Craig McCord

Craig McCord › Craig possesses 23 guitars and cannot play any of them. He likes fresh grilled sardines with a ...


Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on HandPicked Nation in 2012. Since then urban and rooftop farming have increased exponentially, proving that good, real food can be produced almost anywhere.

A new generation of bees are populating New York rooftops today because of a ruling by the city’s board of health a little over two years ago. That vote now allows residents to keep hives of apis mellifera, more commonly known as the nonaggressive honeybee.

That means folks from Staten Island to Brooklyn, from Queens to the Bronx and on to Manhattan have taken advantage of the new law to tend bees and produce delicious honey.

More bees means more honey and that’s a sweet prospect.

So we read with interest an article by Lisa Fickenscher writing on Crain’s New York Business entitled “What’s the buzz at the Waldorf Astoria?” Ms. Fickenscher reports that the world-renowned hotel will begin raising honey bees later this spring. They will start with 45,000 bees with aims to have 300,000 by the end of the summer.

The hives will be installed in a rooftop space on the 20th floor where a chef’s garden will be housed as well.

In her article Ms. Fickenscher quotes the Waldorf’s General Manager Eric Long:

“We look forward to eventually housing enough bees to not only aid the environment but also supply fresh honey in the hotel’s food and beverage outlets.”

Her article continues:

The Waldorf Astoria’s director of culinary operations, David Garcelon, is spearheading the initiative and said he wants to incorporate the honey produced by his bees into dishes served at the hotel’s restaurants.

Beekeeping fever must be catching. The InterContinental announced they too are getting into the bee business. Herve Houdre, General Manager at the InterContental New York Barclay, announced his hotel will install seven hives of bees on the roof of the 15th floor.

More bees means more pollination and more pollination means more food. More bees means more honey and that’s a sweet prospect.

You can read the article in its entirety on Crain’s New York Business.

Do you have a favorite supplier of local honey? Tell us about them in the comments!

Photo credit: ARS/Jack Dykinga