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N.J. Hospital Joins Rooftop Bees Movement

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By James M. O’Neill

Valley hired Bee Bold Apiaries to install the colony boxes and provide ongoing maintenance of the bee colonies, which are expected to grow to more than 60,000 insects through the summer. Right now the bees are using sugar water provided by the beekeepers to create beeswax and build their colony’s honeycombed city. Then they will forage far and wide through Paramus, bringing nectar and pollen back to the pavilion’s rooftop.

Bee Bold Apiaries was launched last fall by Eric Hanan, who turned a five-year beekeeping hobby into a new start-up. The former TV producer for ABC News and “Dateline” took a three-day beekeeping course at Rutgers University. He said each year his honey has been a different color and flavor, based on whatever blooming plants were prevalent in the region. He said most of the honey production comes from nectar the bees harvest from weeds.

Bee Bold already has several dozen clients, from backyard enthusiasts to a Nicholas Markets Foodtown in North Haledon, a print shop in Linden and the Hyatt Regency in Jersey City, N.J.

Hanan has also set up colonies on the roofs of two other hospitals, Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Hackensack UMC Mountainside in Glen Ridge, N.J.

As beekeeper Joseph Lelinho slid racks of honeycomb crawling with bees from the colony boxes during a demonstration Thursday, the sky above him suddenly seemed to come alive as a swirling swarm of honeybees appeared, shocking some guests assembled on the pavilion’s roof.

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