Written by Rob Heinemann
The Valley Hospital harvested about 45 pounds of natural golden honey from their rooftop honeybee hives at the Robert & Audrew Luckow Pavilion in Paramus on Tuesday.
Honey from future harvests will be sold in the Kurth Cottage Gift Shop at the Ridgewood hospital and in the Valley Health Pharmacy in Paramus.
“We have always been big supporters of locally produced food and what could be more local than producing your own honey,” said Dawn Cascio, Director of Food and Nutrition Services for Valley Dining. “We also like the idea of supporting the declining honey bee population while enhancing our community’s gardens, foliage and trees.”
According to Valley Hospital, the honeybees will help pollinate a 2-mile radius around the Luckow Pavilion, increasing the yield of flowers, fruits and vegetables over an 8,700-acre area.
Concerned about their sting? Not to worry. “Honeybees are very docile and rarely sting except by accident or in defense of a beehive, because use of its stinger is lethal to a honeybee,” said Eric Hanan, Co-Founder of Bee Bold Apiaries, which supplied and will maintain the honeybee hives for Valley. “Honeybees are not aggressive and are not interested in us or our backyard barbecues or drinks.”
“The New Jersey Department of Agriculture promotes and encourages urban bee keeping,” Cascio said. “We want to do all we can to be as ‘green’ as possible to the environment.”
All photos courtesy of Valley Hospital.