Looking Back at 2019
Happy New Year!
We had a great holiday season and hope you did too. It's always fun to look back at the previous year so I wanted to highlight a few things that happened at the apiary in 2019.
Last year was a big year for me in terms of improving my beekeeping skills. I worked toward a few goals, in particular starting my Master Beekeeping Certification at Cornell University and becoming a member of the Italian Registry of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey. I am looking forward to completing my certificate and becoming a Master Beekeeper later this year.
Queen rearing was another new skill I worked toward in 2019. I am very lucky to work with the folks at Green-Wood Cemetery where I am their Head Beekeeper and was able to set up a proper workspace to practice the delicate process of grafting eggs and raising them into queens. The results from last year were so-so, but I look forward to taking what I learned into the upcoming season.
Speaking of Green-Wood, we were able to partner with the cemetery to hold our first-ever Hive Tours. These were hugely successful and are in the works for 2020. Along with hive tours, I also taught beekeeping classes and a full beginner's beekeeping course at the cemetery. We graduated 15 new beekeepers (pictured) through the course and hopefully sparked some interest in the hobby with the attendees of all the events. Look for more of these events in the coming season on our Events Calendar.
The NYC Hive to Table Dinner
One of our favorite events of the year was our Hive to Table Dinner over the summer with The Connected Chef. It was an event that was more than 2 years in the making. We started off the night with a honey tasting and viewing of a live observation hive, then moved on to the dinner that was inspired by the work of honey bees, with honey and pollinator-dependent ingredients used in each course.
Sweet New Honey!
As far as honey goes, we produced the most local NYC honey we've ever produced and made it to January 2020 with the last few jars. In previous years we've never made it past Christmas before selling out. Unfortunately, we are sold out until the 2020 harvest in August. Sign up for our mailing list (in the footer of this page) to get first notice when this year's NYC honey comes in!
By the way, we're doing our best to produce more honey in 2020. That means we're looking for a new site or two to set up our hives. Do you have space or know someone who does? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's talk!
We added several new kinds of honey to our shop. First was our Orange Blossom Honey and was an instant favorite among our customers. We also started a line of Infused Honey which sold very well. Among the types, our Ghost Pepper Honey and Cinnamon Honey got a lot of new fans. Finally, we introduced our first whipped honey, our Whipped Blueberry Blossom Honey. The thick spreadable honey goes great on toast, english muffins, ice cream, and a ton of other foods. If you like texture in your food, this honey delivers. It's also our Honey of the Month for January with a special discount. Don't miss it!
The Press Took Notice
I was flattered for Astor Apiaries to be the feature of a handful of articles in 2019. Among them, we were the cover story for Boro Magazine in August. We also had features by Edible Queens and Come To Life, as well as my first time as a guest on the podcast She's Got Issues, just to mention a few. It's great for people to take notice, but it's even better to have a platform to spread the word about why honey bees and pollinators are so important.
We Saved Lots of Shipping Costs!
In 2019 we partnered with Astoria Park Wine & Spirits to be the official pickup location for your honey orders. Instead of paying $8+ to have a jar of honey shipped from one side of Astoria to another, you can now swing by this wine shop and pick up your Astor Apiaries order the next day, for free. We also wanted to make it easy to not forget that bottle of wine you were thinking about. :)
There was a lot we accomplished last year and a lot more we're planning to accomplish in 2020. We'd like to thank all of our customers for making it possible to do our work with the bees. Stay tuned and look out for even more from us this year!