Beekeeping is becoming more common place with many restaurants maintaining rooftop beehives. Some restaurants feature special evenings when they celebrate honey. Using this amazing sweetener in their food and dishes offered at their restaurants. Their rooftop beehives help them to be able to help the bees but also provide their restaurant with delicious honey
To the left is a photo of Chef Jon Farace cutting away wax to extract honey from their rooftop beehive at the Ritz Carlton – Charlotte. Youell’s Oyster House, in Allentown, PA uses their rooftop hives to provide honey for their own recipes. Chris Filipos, got into beekeeping about fifteen years ago and plans for an apiary to sit atop the restaurant’s roof. Youell’s suffered a fire, but prior to the fire, their bees were producing 1,000 pounds of honey. The fire wiped out most of his hives but Chris managed to salvage one colony and he has been trying to grow his hives ever since. Diners will find the honey in desserts, in savory preparations and even using honey behind the bar. If you want to give their dishes a try, check out their website Youell’s Oyster House
With some restaurants like Yoeull’s, they care for their own bees but some restaurants bring in master Beekeepers to help with the care of the bees. Bees may seem like they can do their own thing without any interference from man but this is truly not the case. Bees require care and attention and help especially with the colder seasons. The Waldof Astoria in New York and even the White House are keeping bees. We need as much help as we can get to help the bees to rally against it’s enemies like disease, pests and harsh weather.
According to the National Honey Board, there are somewhere between 115,000 to 125,000 Beekeepers in the US, most are hobbyists. According to the Pennsylvania State Beekeeper’s Association, the state has about 3,500 registered Beekeepers. We can always use more! Berks and Schuylkill Beekeeper’s Association would be happy to help you out. There is also a great deal of information on the website to help you learn.
In the Pittsburgh area, Stephen Repasky, master Beekeeper and president of Burgh Bees, says his urban non-profit group has worked with the Penn State Cooperative Extension of Allegheny County to train more than 500 people in beekeeping. This is quite a significant number of people learning to care for bees!
One word of caution, restaurants, realize there are risks with keeping roof-top bees and they keep multiple Epi-Pens at the restaurant, just in case someone has allergic reaction. Many Beekeepers keep the Epi-Pens in case of an emergency. Definitely, better to be safe than sorry especially when having company over to the property where you keep your bees.