Camera Ready: FIT’s Bees Celebrate National Honeybee Day Aug 18

Olivia Leach of ABC News (center) documenting FIT’s bees with Guillermo Fernandez of the Honeybee Conservancy (r) and FIT Hives co-founder Sarah Longenbach (l)

FIT’s newest residents are not students, but rather a bevy of bees that have been living blissfully on the roof of the Pomerantz building (near one of the college’s green roofs) since April. Now, as National Honeybee Day approaches on Saturday, August 18, the bees are about to become social media sensations, as they will make an appearance on ABC News’s new Facebook platform, On Location, where their story will be posted.

In the meantime, here some facts about FIT’s bees:

  1. The FIT hive started out with 3,000 bees and now has over 50,000;
  2. The FIT bees are happy, as indicated by their rate of reproduction and honey production;
  3. The queen is laying more than 1,000 eggs per day;
  4. The queen picks the gender of the eggs by storing sperm in her body and deciding when to release each egg, determining the gender;
  5. The FIT hive has what Guillermo Fernandez of the Honeybee Conservancy calls a “powerful nectar flow,” a clear indicator of the health of the hive and its individual bees;
  6. The FIT bees are doing so well, in part, because FIT sits in a “pollinator corridor” which includes FIT’s green roofs, the Highline, and the Flower District;
  7. Honey takes on the flavor of the flower nectar that went into creating it, and the FIT honey has hints of Lilac, which, Fernandez says,makes sense because of the nearby Flower District;
  8. The bee population in the FIT hives is composed of honey bees, carpenter bees, and cellophane bees;
  9. The lifespan of a honeybee is only 3-5 months;
  10. When a bee dies, it’s the responsibility of the remaining bees to carry the body out of the hive.

See the bees for yourself! Check out FIT’s Bee Cam.

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