A Passionate Urban Beekeeper Explains How He Tends to Over 50,000 Bees in New York City

After tasting the raw honey that was made by his bees, Gothamist food editor Nell Casey got in touch with urban beekeeper Tom Wilk of Wilk Apiary to find out more about his craft. Wilk spoke with videographer Jessica Leibowitz about his passion for his hives, the nature of bees, why he uses smoke and how he overcame his fear of bugs by beekeeping.

I have 32 hives in nine different apiaries. Beekeeping requires patience in that you’re working around 50,000 stinging insects. You can’t rush through it. You have to be deliberate in your motions, you have to be deliberate in how you pick things up and how you move things so you’re not squishing them. It’s not right to go into their house and kill them for no reason so you want to go in and, you know, do as little harm as possible, because then
they’ll get back to work faster. I was deathly afraid of bugs. This is one way of getting rid of my fear.