Here's how you can become a beekeeper for a day in Philadelphia

ByTom Kretschmer Localish logo
Monday, November 13, 2023
Become a beekeeper for a day
The program invites boy scouts, girl scouts, camps, schools, and anyone willing to don a bee suit and become a beekeeper while educating about the importance of pollinators.New Beekeeper for a Day experience is creating quite the buzz in Philly.

PHILADELPHIA -- Beekeeper Mark Berman knows his honeybees.

The Pennsport native has spent the last eight years as a beekeeper. He has hives from Bartram's Garden to Grays Ferry, and serves on the Philadelphia Beekeeper Guild as an active member and educator.

He says one of the best parts of his hobby was seeing how many people were so fascinated by honeybees, hives, and pollinators.

So, in 2023, he began his Beekeeper for a Day experience. It's a chance for anyone to learn about honeybees while donning a bee suit and getting up close and personal at one of the many apiaries in the region.

"People seem to be incredibly fascinated and mystified by honeybees. It seems dangerous but it's not. So much to learn about nature, what honeybees do, and why we have bees in the city," said Berman.

"Bees are very mysterious to people. They group honeybees with other insects that sting and hurt," he continued. "But honeybees can be very docile, mellow. They're one of the few insects that produce something so tasty we can eat. They're productive."

He says it can be good for your own health to be so connected with nature too.

"At the end of a week of work, I'm exhausted. I come out here, I walk in the garden, I connect with bees. I think it's great for people with anxiety and depression to get that relief. We live in a city that is so congested and there's so much noise and pollution. But there's so much nature in Philadelphia that we can take advantage of for our own benefit," he said.

Fishtown native Aurelia Elicker wasn't afraid to get close to the hive at Berman's apiary in Gray's Ferry.

She says she learned a lot too.

"It was so much fun. I'm going to try to convince my school and Mrs. Cook to have beehives because it would be really fun to have honey. I just want to keep doing it again and again. The scariest part was when the bees swarmed around. But the most fun part was tasting the honey. And I got some wax too!" said Elicker.

To find out more about Mark Berman's Beekeeper for a Day experience you can visit him on Instagram.

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