Bees at Plymouth Place

Plymouth Place welcomes 40,000 new bees to campus!

Plymouth Place is abuzz with excitement as we celebrate the return of bees to our east campus, near the pond. Orchestrated by Lori Harris, owner of the Salt Creek Butterfly Farm, and assisted by our resident volunteers, our new bee colony is a wonder to behold.

Upon arrival, the bees were already functioning as a family. They were moved into two separate hives, each led by its own queen. Ninety percent of the bees are female who perform various roles including cleaner, nurse, wax builder, undertaker, guard and forager.

Lori trained Plymouth Place residents John Frye, Werner Petterson, Stella Solliday and Alice Chin to maintain the hives. They will conduct monthly inspections to ensure activity, monitor for mites and provide necessary care.

The bees will work until September or October, accumulating enough honey to sustain them through the winter. “As a responsible beekeeper, it’s all about putting the bees first,” said Lori. “We won’t even consider taking any honey until they have at least 60 pounds for themselves, which can take up to three years. I must
say, of the 15 hives I manage, the Plymouth Place honey has been the best tasting.”

Forging a personal connection to Plymouth Place and bees.

For Lori, beekeeping is driven by a deep sense of gratitude. “My mother-in-law was in memory care at Plymouth Place and received such compassionate care the last year of her life,” she said. “We were fortunate to have her there.”

While visiting her mother-in-law, Lori learned that Plymouth Place was considering hiring a beekeeper. “As a butterfly farmer, I decided to learn beekeeping and volunteered for the role,” she said. She and her daughter are now certified Master Beekeepers, ensuring the success of the Plymouth Place bee colony.

La dolce vita.

The return of beekeeping to Plymouth Place embodies our spirit of community, stewardship and environmental responsibility. Once the bees have an abundance of honey, it will serve as a delightful complement to our exceptional Farm to Table program.

To learn more about our bees and sweet lifestyle, contact our marketing department at (708) 354-0340.


Transporting Bee Hives

Professional beekeeper Lori Harris, along with Plymouth Place residents John Frye and Werner Petterson, transport the bees to their hives.


Transporting Bee Hives

Lori does a final check of the hives before integrating the bees into their new home.


Beekeeper Hive Pulling the Frame

Pulling up the first frame.


Beekeeping at Plymouth Place

According to Alice Chin, looking for the queen is like finding Waldo!


Successful Beekeeping

Mission accomplished!