Glendale is home to two bee aficionados and their honey is making a buzz.
“Bees aren’t adversaries; they’re an asset,” Glendale resident Toby Bloch said. “There were a lot of people interested in bee hives so I thought it would be a cool experience to have them.”
Bloch is an amateur enthusiast and his single hive is located in the Glendale community garden on 88th Street. The garden is run by Gian D’Elia and during a recent tour of the garden he said that the bees add to the garden’s atmosphere.
“They add a level of authenticity we didn’t have before,” he said. “And it helps the honey-making process since we have so many flowers in the garden for them.”
Bloch isn’t the only bee man in town. Tom Wilk lives in Glendale but has 10 beehives across Queens producing honey for local sale.
Wilk, who who spoke briefly to The Courier from vacation in Europe, runs a local business called Wilk Apiary, and the Glendale community garden currently houses one of the Wilk beehives.
Wilk also has hives in Long Island City, Ridgewood, Maspeth, Astoria and Middle Village. In each of those neighborhoods, the honey is sold in local markets. And in 2013, Wilk’s honey from Astoria won the Blue Ribbon at the Queens County Fair, according to the business’s website.
Local honey like Bloch’s and Wilk’s is “very good honey,” Bloch said. “It’s more white than anything else and it has this almost minty flavor to it.”
This fall, Bloch plans to harvest the honey his hive makes. It will be his first harvest since his last colony of bees died in the winter.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “It’s going to be great.”