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Local hospital turning its roof into honeybee haven

July 22, 2019 08:49 AM

GREECE, N.Y. (WHEC) — You may not think honeybees and hospitals have anything in common, but as the director of sustainability at Rochester Regional Health points out, bees play an important role in your health.

“Without them, most of our crops, the produce we consume, would be scarce," the Director of Sustainability at Rochester Regional Health Michael Waller said. "Prices would go up. If the price of produce goes up, that impacts people’s health in a negative way."

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Waller says environmental problems can become healthcare problems. So when his team heard about the Bee-Healthy program at a New Jersey hospital, they started to look into the possibility of implementing a similar program within Rochester Regional Health.

In late May, the first bee boxes were put on the roof of Unity Hospital.

The working bees are on a section of the roof surrounded by patient rooms so patients can sit and watch the hive of activity.

“[The New Jersey hospital] said the patients loved seeing the bees work, that it was therapeutic and relaxing for them,” Waller said. 

It also makes a predator-free place for the bees to make their home. So far, beekeeper Jerod Grawn, of Grawn Family Farm in Brockport, has had to add another stack of boxes to keep up with the honey production.

“I never expected, in the middle of Greece, I’d find such a beautiful hive of bees,” Grawn said.

The bees can fly up to five miles, visiting and pollinating nearby farms and yards, according to Grawn. 

Grawn intends on harvesting the honey soon with Unity Hospital planning to sell it in the café and gift shop.

The honey could eventually be used in the dietary program and expanded to other area hospitals. 

Credits

Stephanie Robusto

Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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