Queens Scene - Urban Beekeeping At Astor Apiaries
Article by Melissa Mennona in the June 2017 Issue of Queens Scene - Original Article
Astor Apiaries is an urban beekeeping and honey business run by Nick and Ashley Hoefly serving Astoria and the rest of New York City.
Their goal is to foster and benefit bee population through awareness, education and hands-on experience offered to the general public. They also reclaim unused rooftop space and provide a net impact on the surrounding environment.
How does one get into beekeeping? Nick explained it to us. About two years ago a friend, who also showed an interest in beekeeping committed with Nick to each purchase a hive. “I had recently bought a home here in Astoria and had my own roof to use, so that’s where we set up the hives to use. We built the equipment, got the bees and had a great first season,” Nick said. Astor Apiaries also rescues and removes wayward beehives.
“The more you learn about bees, the more fascinating they become and I found myself reading and watching anything about beekeeping that I could get my hands on.” Nick had wanted to figure out a way to do something he enjoyed and get paid for it, and from then on, the rest is history.
This season, they are maintaining their bees in two bee yards – here in Astoria and at Green Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Additionally, they also run a honey subscription box called “My Honey Crate.” They source honey and bee products from around the country and curate a special collection each month based on a theme.
“Aside from the actual beekeeping and honey, we are working to provide beekeeping experiences and education to the local Astoria community,” Nick said. A class called All About Honey will be held at QED located at 27-16 23rd Avenue in Astoria on July 8, in which Astor Apiaries will talk about how bees make it and beekeepers harvest it, and there will be a selection of honeys to taste – don’t miss it! Tickets can be purchased on QED’s website and will include a jar of honey to take home.
In the future, they have plans to hold a home brewing class about mead (honey wine); and they have scheduled a class on cyser (honey apple cider) at QED in the fall. Within the next year or two they hope to secure a location where they can give hive tours and include others in their beekeeping process.
For more info follow them on Instagram @astorapiaries, Facebook @astorapiaries or Twitter @astorapiaries.— Melissa Mennona