One rather large family recently joined the 60 existing Rochester families that tend to the land at Foodlink’s Lexington Avenue Urban Farm.
Tens of thousands of bees — all sisters! — moved into their new digs this week at the farm, which provides local refugee families with a space to grow their own food. The Lexington Avenue Urban Farm also serves as a small commercial growing operation for Foodlink’s kitchen, and its Curbside Market program.
The bees will help pollinate all of the nearby crops, and eventually produce enough honey to sell to our Curbside customers.
Local nonprofit Sweet Beez picked up our new bees from Pennslyvania for us and “babysat” them for a few weeks while we prepared a space for them. We ordered three “nucs,” which are essentially small “nuclues colonies,” each coming with several pieces of honeycomb. The bees were transferred to Lexington’s larger hives on July 19.
It’s hard to say how many bees are in the three hives at the moment, but a healthy hive can have about 50,000 each. So it’s possible we’ll have a total population of 150,000.
“They’re now cleaning out their new homes, buzzing around and pollinating crops and we’re looking forward to being able to harvest the honey — probably by next spring — for our Curbside Market,” said Nathaniel Mich, who oversees the farm as Foodlink’s Member Services Programs Coordinator.
The bees live in the back area of the farm adjacent to our new fruit trees. Find out more information about the Lexington Avenue Urban Farm on their Facebook page.