Hive Minds

Interviews by Sarah Bernard.

Anna Thea Bridge
35, Securities Litigator, Sunnyside
“You have to make sure your queens are happy (I’ve named mine Queen Alice and Queen Bernadette) and that the bees have enough space. It’s like JFK in there”bees are constantly coming and going. You don’t want them to swarm in the city. Swarms freak people out.” Photo: Matthew Porter

Sam Elchert
23, College Student, Morningside Heights
“Some people think I’m a bit of a weirdo. And I don’t think my girlfriend finds it terribly impressive. And there are times when it feels like your entire weekend is dominated by honeybees. But I can’t help it: I’m fascinated by their abilities.” Photo: Matthew Porter

Zachary Schulman
29, Unemployed, Crown Heights
“About every two weeks I do a hive inspection. I send out an e-mail and usually about ten people come to watch. You can see all the life stages: eggs, larvae, adult bees cutting their way out of cells. You can see them dance around and communicate. Last year we harvested 28 pounds.” Photo: Matthew Porter

Deborah Greig
28, Urban Agriculture Coordinator, East New York
“Each hive has its own thing. Some are super-aggressive, some are mellow, some are noisy. Yet inside they’re all individuals”there are guard bees, mortician bees, bees that get pollen, bees that clean the hive, bees that feed the queen. I have great respect for my bees.” Photo: Matthew Porter

Meg Paska
29, Urban Farmer, Greenpoint
“You will get stung, and you have to be okay with it. I hived nine or ten packages of bees a few weeks ago, and I got two stings to the throat, one on the face, and three on my head. A few stings here and there are good for you.” Photo: Matthew Porter

Hive Minds