BEEHIVES SITED AMONG TUPELO TREES IN THE MUSEUM’S MEADOW
PRODUCE THE SECOND SEASON OF PARRISH HONEY
The brainchild of Tony Piazza and in partnership with Piazza Horticultural, the project has proven to be a boon to both the bees and the Museum’s Meadow
The Parrish Art Museum announces the arrival of the second season of Parrish Honey, produced by Italian and Carniolan Bees in hives provided by Piazza Horticultural and sited on the northwest corner of the Terrace Meadow in hives. The brainchild of Tony Piazza, the project has proven to be a boon to both the bees and the Museum’s landscape. As of now, the limited number of jars of the wildflower honey are available only as special gifts with a purchase of a Dual level membership.
“The Parrish mission is grounded in education—and we can learn a lot from bees. Their teamwork, efficiency, and communication systems formulate a model work ethic with a deep-rooted sense of responsibility,” said Interim Director Chris Siefert. “Tony Piazza has been a staunch advocate and ambassador for the Museum for many years, and we can’t thank him enough for bringing this opportunity to us. This collaboration with him and Piazza Horticultural Group is yet another exemplary demonstration of our commitment to community partnership.”
Piazza became involved in beekeeping six years ago as an extension of Piazza Horticultural. His partnership with the Museum arose when he moved to Southampton Village in 2019. Unable to keep the bees at his residence, he sought out a new location for the four hives.
“Beekeeping is in my blood,” said Piazza. “After a year without bees in my life, I mentioned to the Parrish director that I missed them dearly. The offer to keep them on the Museum grounds was a win/win—for me, the Museum, the bees, our natural environment, and the community at large. The native meadow and forest surrounding the Museum is truly the perfect location for the hives. They are super strong and productive.”
Last year, 180 pounds of honey were produced—an exceptional number for first year hives. The location and types of bees were key to the success. Carniolan bees are preferred by beekeepers particularly for their ability to defend themselves against insects, and their gentle behavior with the beekeepers. Italian bees are favored because they are excellent foragers and show a strong disposition to breeding.
The four bee houses were strategically placed along the rarely traversed tree line at the northwest corner of the Terrace Meadow to ensure the safety of the bees and the public. Tree flowers are a substantial source of nectar and pollen, and the flavor profile of Parrish Honey, technically wildflower honey, is most likely influenced by the Tupelo trees on the grounds. In addition, the vineyard next door, apple trees across the highway, and wide array of wildflowers in the meadow provide an array of opportunities for pollination.
For a limited time, a jar of Parrish Honey will be a special gesture of appreciation, free and available only to those purchasing a new or gift Membership at the Dual level and above. Current Members who upgrade to the Dual level and/or upgrade from their current Dual level Membership also eligible to receive a free jar of honey. Parrish Honey can be picked up at the Museum Shop and/or shipped domestically.
About Tony Piazza
Raised in the rural settings of upstate New York in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, Tony Piazza is innately informed by nature and natural settings. After formal education at Cornell University and experience with landscaping companies, he founded Piazza Horticultural in 1998. The firm became a pioneer in the field of environmentally sound design and maintenance practices. With an experienced team of designers, project managers, horticulturists, scientists, and skilled gardeners, Piazza Horticultural designs, builds, and maintains dynamic environments. The firm’s ecosystem based approach results in landscapes that invite connection with natural surroundings and enhance the appreciation of nature. Piazza is the award winning designer of the East Hampton Village bioswale project – a groundbreaking public awareness initiative and one of the first public/private partnerships, ultimately creating a model for other villages regarding water quality issues.
Parrish Art Museum
Inspired by the natural setting an artistic life of Long Island’s East End, the Parrish Art Museum illuminates the creative process and how art and artists transform our experiences and understanding of the world and how we live in it. The Museum fosters connections among individuals, art, and artists through care and interpretation of the collection, presentation of exhibitions, publications, educational initiatives, programs, and artists-in-residence. The Parrish is a center for cultural engagement, an inspiration and destination for the region, the nation, and the world.
Parrish Art Museum construction photographs © Jeff Heatley.
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