Male-Dominated Funeral Industry On Its Last Leg
Green-Wood Cemetery is Buzzing

What's the Buzz Between the Tombstones?

The final resting place of celebrities who created a buzz when they were alive, is now the home to some 600,000 honeybees and a beekeeping operation that continue the buzz between the tombstones.  Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery allows beekeeper Davin Larson to run the beekeeping operation on the cemetery grounds near 500 acres of rolling hills.  Upon visiting the cemetery, Larson knew that the grounds were the perfect place to keep bees in the city; the cemetery is one of the larger green areas in the city.

Green-Wood Cemetery is also granting Larson to sell the churned out honey outside of the cemetery's Gothic main gate under the name "The Sweet Hereafter."  Larson was able to achieve this dream by proposing the idea to fellow beekeeper, and cemetery volunteer, Nicole Francis who sold the concept to the cemetery's public programming director.

The relationship is mutual between the cemetery and the beekeeping operation.  Today, the bees help pollinate the cemetery's tons of flowering plants and trees.  Along with keeping the grounds healthy, the cemetery has allowed individuals to sponsor hives to help defray the cost of maintaining the hives.  In order for the bees to build honeycombs, they feed on sugar water.  However, for the bees to obtain sugar water in the winter months, Larson had to buy 400 pounds of sugar this year to meet the bees needs to produce honeycombs.  Maintaining these hives is not cheap and if you wish to sponsor a hive, you may make a donation of $500 to sponsor a hive, or $250 for halve a hive. 

Green-Wood's beekeepers have harvested 200 pounds of honey already this year.  As business is booming the question becomes whether or not the public or relatives of those buried in the cemetery minded the bees company.  “I was concerned people who have relatives buried in Green-Wood would object, but they’ve been nothing but supportive,” Larson said.

Rivver Cox



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