Lessons from the Bee Community

By October 11, 2023January 19th, 2024Blog, The Power of Cooking

by Barbara A. Glassman, Executive Director

A few weeks ago, I harvested my last honey of the season. Yes, I am a (novice) beekeeper. I took up beekeeping when I wanted a new challenge as we emerged from the pandemic.

I’ve always admired bees for a few reasons. They have a strong woman leader (a Queen Bee 🐝), as pollinators they contribute directly to our world’s food security, and they share my view of community.

Let me tell you a few things I’ve learned about bees. You probably know a bee hive has one Queen Bee. But what you may not know is that each hive has approximately 60,000 bees. That’s about the same number of bees as the entire population of Columbia County, NY, where The Sylvia Center at Katchkie Farm is located. And my bees would more than fill every seat in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, where our New York City office is based.

The majority of the bees in a hive are female workers, all of whom have different jobs. Yet, after flying 50,000 miles and visiting more than two million flowers, each worker bee will produce just 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in her entire lifetime. It is amazing how hard each bee works to do her part to contribute to the community. Just like we do at The Sylvia Center.

In Sylvia Center classes, young people and families cook delicious food, learn skills, acquire knowledge, and gain confidence and independence. Then they sit at a table together and create community. It’s the power of cooking.

As I celebrate my one year anniversary as Executive Director of The Sylvia Center, I am thrilled to launch our new monthly conversation, The Power of Cooking. Each month you’ll learn interesting tidbits about building a healthier community, and we’ll share recipes, stories, and updates. We hope you’ll keep reading.


Until next month, “bee” powerful 💪 in the kitchen,