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BRTV: Urban Beekeeping

Erin Masterson Holko, an owner at Masterson’s Garden Center, has been a beekeeper for the past ten years. She realized that humans and bees can coexist peacefully, and uses what began as a hobby, to now teach apiary with hands-on training to community members. Her favorite moments of beekeeping are when she sees new queen bees that emerge from their cells and hearing the queen bees sing. When she first started working with bees, Erin didn’t realize the therapeutic benefit of the bees, and now feels empowered while working with them.

Tara and Jeff Hahn, owners of Hahn’s Honeybee Haven have been on the bee rescue mission for the past five years. The duo receives calls for bees that need rescuing from downed trees and house walls, among other places, and they donate all their time for these recovery missions. These missions take five to six hours of detailed care to complete, and after they rescue the bees, they take the colonies to their bee yards and take about three weeks to evaluate the bees. They evaluate the bees’ health, do temperament checks and treat them for any medical issues. Then, they relocate the bees to one of five properties and continue to care for them every few weeks.

The strangest place that Tara and Jeff removed a hive from is Graestone Manor – a haunted historical Victorian mansion in Gasport, built over 150 years ago. Bees had been congregating there for 100 years, but many of their fellow beekeepers were afraid to collect the bees. The Hahns braved the eerie vibes and collected three colonies – but not without seeing some ghostly-moving curtains in the house first.


Erin Masterson Holko’s Instagram: @beekeepers_garden

Masterson’s Garden Center Instagram: @mastersonsgc 

Hahn’s Honeybee Haven Instagram: @hahnshoneybees 


View other videos in the BRTV series

Written by Vilona Trachtenberg

Vilona Trachtenberg

Spotlight Professional in 2020. Freelance journalist, traveler, dancer, music fanatic, volunteer enthusiast. Loves meeting new people in any and all capacities and helping our beloved city flourish.

View All Articles by Vilona Trachtenberg
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