by Amy Azzarito

In 2009, I started my first beehive with a dear friend, Barry Rice. At the time, beekeeping was illegal in New York and novel enough that the New York Times did a story about our hive. (That’s me in the lead photo — my 15 minutes.) It was all going swimmingly. I was gifting honey left and right (and becoming very popular in the process). Then disaster struck. For whatever reason, our hive was attacked by raiders — robber bees. Bees died and any remaining survivors fled. We were left with empty boxes.

We had a good run, but Barry needed to do some work on the roof. So we let the hive remain dormant for year. But we’re now back in the game. We ordered a new package of bees from Georgia and hived them on Saturday. I hadn’t realized how much I missed being out in nature and doing something. Beekeeping is an important way to help our dwindling honeybee population, so I’m crossing my fingers that it goes better this time around. I’m already dreaming of early summer honey, so I decided to round up some of my favorite honey-inspired goods. I hope you enjoy them. — Amy Azzarito

Image above: 1. Milk & Honey Soap, $9; 2. Sili Honey Jar and Dripper, $19.99; 3. Bumblebee Necklace, $230; 4. Honeycomb Stick, $14; 5. Bee and Beehive Cookie Cutter Set, $4.75; 6. Honey Jar + Stick, $38; 7. Acrylic Honey Jar, $12.16


Image above: 1. Bea Bee Bracelet, $33.13; 2. Bit-o-Honey Candy (5 lbs), $21.73; 3. Stone Ground Buttermilk & Honey Pancake Mix, $6.88; 4. Honey/Syrup Dispenser, $12.75; 5. Honey Pot with Stir Stick, $6.75; 6. Light Blue and Speckled Brown Honey Pot, $35; 7. Black Stoneware Honey Pot, $25; 8. Honey Jar Double Bubble White Body, $40

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  • I’m glad you’re going to try again with your bees. I’m getting to the point where I can only enjoy honey when I know where it comes from – like my eggs (Stone Barns). I have a lovely bee charm made by my friend Robin Koffler. I’ll email you a picture.

  • This really appeals to the hippie in me! I love the idea of urban farming. Why should country folk be the only ones who get to enjoy a bit of self-sustainability?

  • Amy, will you share where you got your bees? I’ve been thinking about starting a hive AND I live in Atlanta. Too convenient!

    • Hi Courtney –
      I actually order my bees through the New York Beekeeping Association. But I know that there are a lot of apiaries in Georgia (good bee climate). I would reach out the Georgia Beekeepers Association for suggestions – http://www.gabeekeeping.com/ Good luck! -Amy

  • This is so wonderful! I’ve been thinking about starting a hive for a little while, but I know I’ll have to wait (I’m sure the landlord would draw the line there) so I can have them in a place I own – and make sure the city doesn’t restrict it.

    I absolutely love honey. It must a be a tea-drinker / grew up on Winne-the-Pooh sort of thing.

  • Great post Amy and so happy to hear you’re back to keeping. Something about connecting on a regular basis to nature is the only way to stay sane. My chickens do it for me. I was so happy to see a product I grew up with and is still in my pantry, Kenyons Pancake mix. Have you seen what my friends at Beehive Kitchenware have been up to lately? They are very bee friendly there.www.beehivekitchenware.com

  • We had a honey jar when I was a kid and I loved playing with it (and probably made way more of a mess than my mother would have liked) this post as reminded me to put a honey pot on my “things I dont need but will buy anyway” list :)

  • I was so excited to read this post! I’m at grad student at Cal Poly and for fun this quarter I am taking BEEKEEPING! The bees are fascinating and every day I learn something new and wonderful. We’re catching swarms, re-hiving them, and even rearing our own queens to replace the swarm queens. I am moving to Chicago in July, perhaps I will have to start a few hives in the Windy City! Bees are such an important part of our ecosystem that it is imperative we take action and start to help our buzzing buddies.

    I hope your new bees do well, good luck!!

  • That’s really cool that you are bee-keeping! Those honey pots are adorable, I especially like number 5 as it reminds my of Winnie the Pooh’s honey pot :) cute!

  • That’s super sweet that you’re getting back in the game, Amy! We just attended our first Charleston Area Beekeeping Association last weekend in the hopes of fulfilling a 20 year dream. We adore bees so much that we incorporated them throughout our wedding and even made the mead with local honey.

  • Grew up a beekeepers daughter. I didnt appreciate it much then considering we had about 300 hives over 6 counties. It was a lot of work. Honey was only $1.25 a lb then. I spent my summers helping dad. Now I miss it.