Whole Foods Market installs bee hives

Pittsburgh's Whole Foods Market is abuzz about being the first in the Mid-Atlantic region to install bee hives.

Whole Foods partnered with Burgh Bees, the local nonprofit, to set up two hives outside the East Liberty market -- on the railroad tracks/East Busway side of the store -- on May 2.

The partnership aims to heighten awareness about the massive declines in honey bee populations. One big reason that matters is that bees pollinate 100-plus U.S. crops. So Whole Foods stores across the country are supporting the nonprofit Xerces Society that protects wildlife through conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.

On Saturday, the East Liberty store will host a honey-tasting event for shoppers. From noon to 3 p.m., all recipes sampled throughout the store will include honey, and Burgh Bees members will be on hand. The store also will be selling Burgh Bees T-shirts and, eventually, holding beekeeping classes.

By spring, the two hives -- populated with bees purchased in Georgia plus some local wild bees -- could produce 70 or more pounds of honey to sell in the store, says Burgh Bees vice president and apiary director Stephen Repasky.

For more, visit: www.wholefoodsmarket.com/sharethebuzz. Learn more about Burgh Bees at burghbees.com.

Food editor Bob Batz Jr.: bbatz@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1930.


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