To nurture and raise locally adapted honey bees (Westchester, Faifield, and Putnam counties)
To provide honey bee colony set up and maintenance for those who would like assistance with having honey bees
To help others who want to learn beekeeping skills
To help educate the general public about the importance and value of honey bees
To do basic research into the best beekeeping techniques for our local area
Most honey bees in the United States are currently being raised by a small number a large scale bee producers located in the warmer southern part of the country. This is a convenient and ‘easy’ way for beekeepers to meet their demand for honey bees. Although using this technique to produce honey bees may be easy, we believe it may not be the ’best’ way.
We believe that honey bees that are allowed to adapt to the environmental conditions of the area they live in are best suited for long term success. To this end, we are working to break the cycle of importing honey bees by producing locally grown honey bees that are adapted to our area. Several of our research projects are looking at ways to help perfect our techniques in this area. The income that we earn from our hive set up and maintenance service is used to fund this research.
We have found that there are many people who have always wanted to have honey bees, but have felt restrained from doing so. It is our goal to assist those who would like to have honey bees but feel they are unable to do so. If you feel that you don’t have time to care for honey bees, or are afraid of them, or you don’t feel knowledgeable enough, or you are physically unable to; we would like to help. We provide an annual service that sets up and maintains single or multiple honey bee colonies. This is a fee based service. The income we generate from this service is used to support our education and research efforts.
There are many people who are interested in learning basic beekeeping skills. Good beekeeping requires a set of skills which are only developed through practice. We are working through our beekeeping school to offer training for those who would like help with developing these skills. It is our hope that the beekeepers in upper Westchester county will over time grow into a tight and supportive community, much the way a strong colony of honey bees.
Many people have developed a fear of honey bees and see them as something to be avoided or exterminated. This is a result many things; the media portraying bees as dangerous, associating honey bees with more aggressive type wasps and hornets, and concerns over allergic responses. Fear can be a strong motivator. A part of our mission is to help disperse these fears and educate others as to the value of honey bees. Honey bees should not only be tolerated but they should be celebrated and cherished.
As a part of our mission we feel a responsibility to seek opportunities to speak in public forums about the importance of honey bees and their role in the environment. In addition, we work with local schools to involve teaching children about the importance of honey bees and their importance in our ecology. There are many life lessons that can be learned from watching the life of the bees.
We believe it is important to always be learning. A part of learning is questioning and testing new ideas. As a part of our mission we feel a responsibility to dedicate a portion of our efforts to testing new concepts and developing new techniques related to caring for and nurturing honey bees. Because honey bees are living organisms, research projects have to be done in sync with their life cycles. For this reason research projects may have to be done over a number of years to determine results. We believe that ideas for research projects come from careful observation, ‘thinking outside the box’, and testing ideas from other beekeepers in our area, from across the U.S. and abroad.