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Bee Here Now

The buzz on local beekeeping



Karen Sabath inspects her Katonah hive with two friends to ensure that it is “queen right” and that there were new eggs, larvae, and a capped brood.

Photo Courtesy of Karen Sabath

Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem. They pollinate plants that provide food and shelter to humans and animals; they are integral to the food chain; and of course, they produce honey—a natural sweetener and energy booster.

Karen Sabath is one of the founders of Hudson Valley Natural Beekeepers, which holds meetings and shares the “buzz” with its 300 members, including many of the 100 or so beekeepers she estimates live in our community. The Bedford 2020 trustee and treasurer got started beekeeping about nine years ago with an online class at honeybeelives.org. She keeps three hives at Rainbeau Ridge, her sister’s Bedford Hills farm, and recommends that two to four is the right number, as two allows you to share hive resources, and four probably maxes out available food in the bees’ two-to-five mile foraging area. She says that each complete hive set-up can be purchased for about $300 and that you can buy a nest including about 5,000 bees and a queen (the hive may grow to 40,000 to 50,000 bees at the peak of the season) for about $150. Sabath’s three hives produced about 30 pounds of honey last year (you only take the excess that the bees don’t use), and, mostly because she feels the product is “more precious than gold,” she only uses the honey for special gifts and doesn’t sell an ounce. She’s advancing her education through Cornell’s online master class, but she’s already considered an expert, having started Sustainable Stewards, a small consulting business that provides beekeeping services and sustainability advice to corporations, schools, and individuals.

The ecological insights are what fascinate Sabath the most. She explains, “I love the way there is a super organism that works together for mutual hive survival and how different that is from the way we humans behave. I’m amazed that male drones, female foragers, and the queen each have their own defined roles; how the hive “clusters” to save energy in cold weather, but that the bees still leave the hive to defecate; how the hive knows when it’s  just the right time to swarm, dividing the existing hive to form a new hive around a second queen; that each hive produces not only honey, but also special compounds such as propolis, which is used to seal the hive but which has also been used as a traditional medicine for treating throat irritation and other problems; and that each honeybee’s lifetime contribution is about one-tenth of a teaspoon of honey.”

Another beekeeping enthusiast, Abbott Fleur, operates The Lodge at Honey Maple Grove, a bed and breakfast off Route 172 in Bedford. He keeps six hives which produce up to 120 pounds of honey in a good year and sells his production under the Honey Maple Grove label to guests at his “bee and bee,” at a few local shops, and at farmers markets. Fleur observes that “honeybees are wonderful animals, and working with them teaches you that you ultimately have no control over nature; it makes you humble.”

George Bianco (pictured on left with Andrew Bianco) is a managing director at Merrill Lynch who lives on an historic Bedford farm. Rare breed Belted Galloway cows, merino sheep, and heritage turkeys and chickens were recently raised on the farm, and Bianco started beekeeping last year to play a part in helping the threatened honeybee population and to learn more about local honey’s anti-allergen properties. He started with two hives, yielding 25 pounds of honey from one and none from the other. He’s intrigued by the social system of the hive and remarked that, “the more you handle them the more you become a kind of ‘bee-whisperer. If you remain calm, so do they; it’s amazing how you can sense when the bees feel excited or threatened.”

Interested in getting started with your own hives? There’s a lot of help offered locally, including Sustainable Stewards, HoneybeeLives, and Bedford Bee Honeybee Service which provides everything from hive installation and maintenance to beekeeping classes at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills and John Jay Homestead in Katonah. 

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April 2018

Registration Closes: Friday, April 13th Jenna graduated from F.I.T with a degree in Fashion Design. She started her career working for the high-end Accessory Brand, Isabella Fiore and later moved...

Cost: $155.00

Where:
DayDreamer Studio
@ The Yellow Monkey Antiques
792 Route 35
Cross River, NY  10518
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Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
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Cost: $20, $35, $50, $65

Where:
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
149 Girdle Ridge Road
Katonah, NY  10536
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Sponsor: Caramoor
Telephone: 914-232-1252
Contact Name: Caroline Andrews
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Cost: FREE

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Katonah United Methodist Church
5 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY
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Sponsor: NEWDAA
Telephone: 203-356-5405
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Cost: free

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Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
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"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
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Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
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Cost: $10 non-members; Members and students free

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Bruce Museum
One Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
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Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Telephone: 203-869-0376
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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
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Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
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Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

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HSS Stamford Outpatient Center
1 Blachley Road
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Sponsor: HSS
Telephone: 203-705-2956
Contact Name: Pamela Villagomez
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The Ferguson Library
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Sponsor: SilverSource, Inc.
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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

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365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
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Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation & New Canaan Library
Telephone: 203-920-1720
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
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"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
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Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

"3EXHIBTS 6ARTISTS" a series of three shows featuring two artists each, started in March and it will continue until June.  Second  exhibit will open on Friday April 20...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
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Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

Show More...
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By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
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Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
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Cost: free

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Wilton Presbyterian Church
48 New Canaan Road
Wilton, CT  06897
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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
Contact Name: Music on the Hill
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Ages: K-5 Registration Closes: Wednesday, April 25th In this workshop, Lil’ Dreamers will have a ton of fun learning marbling techniques while creating their own unique papers.  Each artist...

Cost: $30.00

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DayDreamer Studio
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792 Route 35
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Sponsor: DayDreamer Studio
Telephone: 914-977-4243
Contact Name: Nicole Mata
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Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
Katonah, CT  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

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40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
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Cost: Free

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Canfin Gallery
39 Main Street
Tarrytown, NY  10591
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Sponsor: Canfin Gallery
Telephone: 914-332-4554
Contact Name: Jean-Claude Canfin
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Ayurveda is thought to be the world’s oldest healing system and is referred to as “mother of all sciences.” It encompasses life in its totality and epitomizes a true body-mind...

Cost: Free

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Katonah Pharmacy
202 Katonah Ave
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Sponsor: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
Telephone: 914-875-9088
Contact Name: Dr. Somesh N. Kaushik
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Saturday, April 28th at 3:00 Rated PG Open to everyone, no registration required For questions, please call the library at 914-669-5161 or email at keelerlibrary@wlsmail.org To learn...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

By donating your perennials, pots and planters to the library to be resold, you will be minimizing waste and giving your unwanted perennials, pots and planters a second life. When spring arrives...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 Titicus Road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-274-7206
Contact Name: Cynthia
Website »

More information

WHAT: As part of its 2017-2018 concert series, Friends of Music will host Brooklyn Rider on Saturday, April 28th. The breakout ensemble, whose performances attract legions of fans from classical...

Cost: $35

Where:
Kusel Auditorium at Sleepy Hollow High School
210 N. Broadway
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Website »

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Cost: FREE

Where:
Oak&Oil Gallery
89 Katonah Avenue
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View map »


Sponsor: Oak&Oil Gallery
Telephone: 914-232-8100
Contact Name: Giovanna
Website »

More information

Show More...
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