In February 2012, Tom Wilk, head beekeeper at Wilk Apiary, took The New York City Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Course with Andrew and Norm Cote. From that tentative beginning we have grown to having 9 apiaries with 49 hives in Queens, Nassau County, Ulster County, and Orange County – all in New York State.
Our main focus is to raise colonies of honey bees in New York City. We usually have just a hive or two per location. These locations are hosted by environmentally aware people who want to help the honey bees by having us put hives on their property. If a site is large enough and there seems to be enough forage space to accommodate more honey bees, we will consider placing more hives.
While it sometimes gets crazy going to multiple sites inspecting and servicing the honeybees, we like the idea of bringing honey bees to as many areas as we can.
We sell honey from our hives as well as other places to help pay for the costs involved with keeping honey bees in New York.
In November of 2018, Tom founded the Queens Beekeepers Guild, Inc. which is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization formed to help beekeepers in Queens grow their knowledge and to educate the local public on the importance of honey bees as well as our native pollinators.
In July 2019, Tom Wilk became a Certified Master Beekeeper at Cornell University's Dyce Labs for Honey Bee Studies. Tom also became the Long Island/New York City region director for the Empire State Honey Producers Association.
In 2020, we expanded our apiary at the Magnanini Winery to over 20 hives along with some breeding hives. This apiary is using only NY state bred honey bees from Shultz Apiaries in Allegany County, NY as part of our commitment to use and raise honey bees that are conditioned for our weather. Please follow along as we enter into our 10th season of beekeeping in 2021.
In December 2020 we official became the first New York City beekeepers to be part of the New York State Grown & Certified program. All honey from our New York State hives falls under this category and can contain the official logo.