Honeybees are a vital part of the ecosystem.
Raising honeybees at UPMC Magee:
The bees are in an isolated area on Magee's campus. They help pollinate flowers, vegetables, and other plants in the Oakland area, including Magee's gardens.
The Magee beekeeping program launched in 2018.
To get started, some Magee staff members took a beekeeping class. Magee also partnered with Burgh Bees, a local nonprofit that promotes urban beekeeping.
Magee built an area for two beehives on the hospital's campus.
Each beehive contains one queen and thousands of worker bees.
The queen can lay between 1,500 and 2,000 eggs a day. This means in the summer, there can be up to 60,000 to 80,000 bees in each hive.
Magee's beekeeping program brings together staff volunteers from various departments, including:
The lead beekeeper and one or two other members of Magee's Bee Team inspect the hives:
Magee's Bee Team keeps the hives healthy by:
A healthy hive makes a lot of honey.
It takes about 550 worker bees to gather one pound of honey from about two million flowers. Bees make two to three times more honey than they need.
Once the hives are full enough, Magee's Bee Team can harvest the honey.
Extracting honey from the hive is a complex process.
In 2022, Magee's Bee Team harvested about 7 gallons (around 80 pounds) of honey.
Sustainability is vital when harvesting honey. It took over a year for the bees to make enough honey to harvest.
Magee's Bee Team leaves enough honey for the bees to feed themselves through the winter months.
Once the Bee Team extracts the honey, our chefs use it in cafeteria recipes.
Some favorite dishes of our patients, visitors, and staff are:
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