Interview with an Urban Beekeeper

Interview with an Urban Beekeeper

Grai Oleksy runs the community gardens in Tremont, Ohio, an urban neighborhood of Cleveland.
Here, people from the community are able to plant and cultivate a garden from a plot of their choosing in the hushed sanctum of its preserved surroundings.

Last spring, Oleksy added a honey bee (Apis mellifera) hive to the gardens, made from polystyrene.

“I thought it would be a good addition to the garden,” he says. “It adds pollination and promotes insect diversity, which is a good thing.”

Oleksy takes an organic approach when it comes to maintaining the health of his hive, which he began a little more than one year ago.

“I have had mites since last spring,” he says, adding that he does not like the use of chemicals to combat such issues.

“I made a drone frame, which has larger cells,” he says. “They lay the drone eggs and then the mites are drawn away. When this is done, I throw it in the freezer so it slows the mites down.”

Oleksy says when this is all done, he discards the affected materials accordingly.”It’s good to try things like that; I don’t like to use chemicals.”urban beekeeper

“I like to keep as much of the natural grass as I can,” says Oleksy.

The gardens are at no cost to the public, and can be used any time- day or night.

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