“We realized that is wasn’t just a serious
hobby any more,” Hoefly said. “It could be
a real little business.”
About four years later, it’s just that.
Astor Apiaries sells honey when they
have it – they harvest in August and sell
until it runs out in early winter. The Hoeflys,
who have lived in Astoria since 2010, frequently
sell their products at crafts fairs
in the area, including the Queens Craft
Brigade, which runs once a month, and
various events at the Queens Botanical
In addition to their products, they offer
workshops and hive tours, beekeeping
26 AUGUST 2 0 1 9
mentorships, and a live bee removal service,
free of charge.
The latter service led to one of the days
when Nick got stung the most.
One afternoon, Nick got a tip about a
swarm of bees on a fence outside a home
in Astoria. He went by to check it out and,
sure enough, a swarm was buzzing. He
went up to the house to let the homeowners
know what he was doing.
It turned out the homeowner was a
beekeeping hobbyist himself and his hive
had escaped earlier that day. Unable to
find them, the hobbyist figured they had
just flown away and were lost for good.
Together, the two beekeepers, adorned
in their beekeeper suits, made their way
to the swarm. For the next half hour, the
duo wrangled the bees into the hive.
“What we had to do was get the queen
back into the box and the rest of the bees
will just follow,” Hoefly said.
But the sun had set and it was dark, which
is not the best time to be messing with bees.
“Bees don’t really like to be bothered
when it gets dark and they can get a little
more agitated when you try to move
them,” Hoefly said.
During the rescue mission – which ended
successfully, by the way – Hoefly got
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