Jodi Weinberger/The Ridgewood News
Pools of golden honey formed in a tray, flowing down in a thin, glistening stream from a whirring centrifugal extractor, where inside the intricate work of thousands of bees was being harvested from their combs.
Roll your eyes at the wordplay if you want, but the employees at Valley Hospital were buzzing with excitement watching the demonstration on Sept. 18 of how honey is collected from the hospital’s rooftop hives.
Or maybe they were just feeling the sugar rush of having too many syrupy samples of the honey-laden foods made from the hospital’s sweet bounty: the deep purple hibiscus honey mint water, the creamy goat cheese balsamic honey dip, and the smooth yogurt honey cinnamon spread.
The employees gasped when beekeepers Joseph Lelinho and Eric Hanan, co-founders of Bee Bold Apiaries, unveiled an observation hive – a see-through colony of 30,000 wriggling insects contained by a wood frame – and inched closer slowly, nervous the bees might suddenly escape.
The bee scene looked chaotic to an untrained eye, but the experts could easily identify the queen and the drones around her.
Valley Hospital’s rooftop hive project took flight last year with two hives installed on the hospital’s Robert and Audrey Luckow Pavilion in Paramus and expanded this year with two more hives on the roof of the Ridgewood facility.