Italian Bees come to Governors Island
The Added Value Farm on Governors Island now has 45,000 new workers (in bee-speak, that is both “workers” and “drones” and the all-important queen bees.) In three hives, the honey bees will likely triple in number by Summer’s end. Their job will be to pollinate the flowering plants of the farm, and the Island, increasing the crop yield by up to 60%.
Keeping honey bees in New York City was made legal earlier this year, marking an important step in increasing the numbers of these important “farmers.” There are over 200 species of bees in the NY area, though bee numbers have been dropping nationwide. Our new Italian Bees will likely remain on the Island as their pollination range is fairly small. The bees will produce honey which will be on sale at the Added Value Farm stand later in the summer. And they will winter on the Island, ready to get back to work next year.
The bees’ keeper, Cerise Mayo, will come to the Island to feed the bees a yummy sugary mix for a little bit while they get themselves settled in. Soon, though, they’ll do their own work and make their own meals of the delightful flowers and trees of the Island.
Honey bees are very docile so our new residents should not cause any concern to visitors.