Sweet Partnership

Several Bergen County hospitals are teaming with bees for the production of locally grown honey.
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Honeybees are making a buzz around area hospitals. No, there aren’t a large number of patients being treated for stings—it’s quite the opposite. Several Bergen County hospitals are teaming with bees for the production of locally grown honey to contribute to the diversity of color and flavor of foods in the community and support sustainable agriculture.

HackensackUMC was the latest to install rooftop honeybee hives; two wooden hives on top of the building in Hackensack house more than 30,000 bees that have already produced dozens of pounds of honey. The bees have made enough of the sweet stuff for the colonies to survive the winter, and the leftovers will be used by the hospital as a food ingredient.

The Valley Hospital installed honeybee hives on the roof of its Paramus building more than three years ago. Valley has been using the honey (leaving ample supply for its makers) in its nutrition program.

“Bees are a big deal for our food supply,” says Kyle Tafuri, senior sustainability advisor at The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center at HackensackUMC. “Every third bite of food we eat is the result of pollination by bees. And worldwide, bees are dying at an alarming rate.”

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