PARRISH HONEY & BEES
The Parrish Art Museum has been home to four bee houses since 2019. Having bees at the Parrish benefits our natural environment by engaging the ecosystem through pollination. The native meadow and Tupelo trees surrounding the Museum are a perfect location for bee keeping.
Parrish bees produce “wildflower honey” because their honey is not made from a specific plant nectar. The flavor profile is likely influenced by the array of wildflowers and Tupelo trees in the Parrish meadow, the vineyard next door, and the apple trees across the highway.
Parrish Honey came about through a partnership with Tony Piazza, who started beekeeping six years ago as an extension of his company Piazza Horticultural Group. Unable to keep bees at his residence when he moved to Southampton Village in 2019, Piazza sought out a new location for the hives. The four bee houses were strategically placed along the northwest corner of the meadow to ensure the safety of the bees and the public. Last year, 180 pounds of honey were produced—an exceptional amount for first year hives. The location and types of bees are key to this success.
We have two species of bees at the Parrish, Italian and Carniolan. It is difficult to tell these bee species apart because they are approximately the same size and a dusty brown-gray color. Carniolan bees are good at defending themselves against insects and have a gentle behavior with the beekeepers. Italian bees are excellent foragers and show a strong disposition to breeding.