Local beekeeper Pat Bono recently traveled to Albany for a shipment of honey bees, which was distributed to members of the Rochester Beekeepers at Hansen Park in Henrietta.
Most of the bees are to replenish dead hives from the winter. Some are used to expand apiaries. This past season saw less bee deaths than previous years due to a milder winter and productive summer; however, recent temperatures may delay the honey crop for 2020.
To date, honey producers are considered essential to the food supply chain. Beekeepers and necessary helpers can travel to their out-yards and hive locations to care for and manage their hives.
This is a busy time of year for beekeepers. Duties include unwrapping hives from the winter, assessing honey bee health, feeding bees, installing new spring packages and nucs, splitting hives that may swarm, and situating hives for pollination.
Beekeeping generally is a solitary endeavor and gives beekeepers a chance to work outdoors while social distancing.
Bono owns Seaway Trail Honey in Brighton, organizes the Rochester Beekeepers and is president of New York Bee Wellness Inc., a nonprofit based in Rochester. Her apiary is located near Pultneyville by Lake Ontario.