A week and a half ago, on my bus ride back home from Manhattan, I talked at length with a guy I’ve known forever from my parish about what he and his family have been up to. It turned out that his younger brother had taken up a most unusual hobby: beekeeping.
Visions of what would happen if I ever took up this pursuit quickly overcame me, all of which can be best summed up in one word: buzzkill. I told this guy that with my lethal combination of lack of talent and luck, I would probably end up massively stung in about two minutes if I ever tried to emulate his brother.
My friend’s brother has evidently thought of the same thing, because he dons a heavy-duty suit before he approaches these bad news bees. But he has devoted as much study as care to all of this, and the result has evidently been lots of delicious honey. (I wish I could have used a bit of that this past winter to keep bad colds at bay.)
Our northern New Jersey suburb has been the site of all this, but I think my friend’s brother would like the little project that began in Bryant Park, right behind the Central Branch of the New York Public Library, just before we spoke. Three million—yes, count ‘em!—bees were placed in the park as part of its Apiary, allowing residents and curious visitors like me to see bees in just about the last place you’d expect: a concrete jungle. I took this picture right after the installation.
The easiest place for the casual viewer (like me) to catch these bees is in the flower beds on the grounds. But for the more serious bee enthusiast, like my longtime acquaintance, monthly beekeeping classes are being held, free for park-goers.