Let It Bee Apiaries
In 2004, after years of quiet fascination with honeybees, Charles Branch finally got serious and enrolled in a Beekeeping course at BYBA, an extraordinary organization of dedicated beekeepers. Christine Lehner started reading about bees and their history – learning along the way that there is more written about bees than any creature other than man – and she has not yet stopped.
That first winter we ordered our package bees with an Italian queen. It immediately became obvious that one hive was not enough to slake our appetite for watching and working with the bees, so we acquired two more. These three were the nucleus of our Hastings-on-Hudson Apiary.
In the years since we have expanded to properties in Rye, Bedford and Irvington. We also keep hives at Lyndhurst, a National Trust property in Tarrytown. In 2008 we further expanded our apiary with hives on a rooftop in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. As soon as beekeeping was legalized in NYC in April 2010, we placed 3 hives atop the 12-story headquarters of the Natural Resources Defense Council. The bees are thriving in the higher realms. In 2011 Let it Bee discovered American art in a big way: there are now 3 hives atop the Whitney Museum of American Art on Madison Ave in NYC. If the delicious honey is any indication, bees and art are a felicitous combination. Read more about our Whitney hives in the New Yorker and on the Whitney Museum website.
Back in Hastings, our organic garden is filled with bee-friendly fruit trees and herbs. We use no chemicals on our beehives. Because we don’t treat for mites with pesticide, we lose more bees than we might otherwise. The benefit is that our healthy bees thrive in the purest possible environment we can create for them.
Photo by Colin Cooke