Valley Hospital in Paramus keeps hive of honeybees to promote health, environmental awareness

A Paramus hospital is trying to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness by producing honey from hives on its own roof. More than 140,000 bees

A Paramus hospital is trying to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness by producing honey from hives on its own roof.

A Paramus hospital is trying to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness by producing honey from hives on its own roof. (9/24/13)

PARAMUS - A Paramus hospital is trying to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness by producing honey from hives on its own roof.

More than 140,000 bees reside in hives on the roof of Valley Hospital's outpatient building in Paramus. Organizers say the effort is an experiment in sustainability.

Beekeepers say the insects, and the honey they produce, are important to human survival. Beekeeper Joe Lelinho says the overall honeybee population is declining.

"We need the honeybee very badly," Lelinho says. "Every third bite of food is there only because of the honeybee."

Beekeepers from Bee Bold Apiaries have been overseeing the honeybee project since May. The goal is to help the populations of both the bees and humans.

Director of food and nutrition Dawn Cascio says it’s also good for the neighborhood, especially those with backyard gardens. "The bees fly within a two-mile radius of the hospital," Cascio says. "So, it can really help those gardeners pollinate whatever they're growing in their yards."

The beekeepers were finally able to tap into the fruits of their labor after several months.

The hospital is going to be selling jars of the honey in the gift shop, but they're also going to be using it in the cafeteria as a natural sweetener in the food.

After the honey is extracted from the honeycombs, the beekeepers will remove the wax, which will be used in lip balms, candles and cosmetics.


 

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