News & Reviews
Promise Land Gets Ink...
A Game of Survivor: The Southampton Press column.
A Minute with a Beekeeper: Northforker magazine feature.
The Life of a Beekeeper: Northforker magazine feature.
Outdoor Eats: Featured on Channel 12 East End Full show
The Work We do: The Suffolk Times Business section
Beekeeper's Hives Vandalized: The Patch Community section
5 Places to Buy Honey: The Northforker Featured section
Beekeeper Shares Blessing: The Patch Community section
Why Forgive: In Touch Ministries magazine
Bees are the New Chickens: Edible East End Features section
Local Beekeeper responds to Vandalism with Donations: Riverhead News-Review Agriculture section
Experimenting with Survival: Northforker magazine
A few moments before Chris arrives, and always lingering after he leaves there seem to be a few more bees in the air. I’ve noticed he always has one or two pretty little Italian-Carnolian blondes on his shoulder.
A couple of honks as he pulls up in his truck send our three boys running to be the first to say hello and see what he has brought us. Sometimes it’s heavy or smelly or even a little bit dangerous, but never as exciting as the time in early May when he came to bring us our very own bees.
We all crowded round in our rustling still-white bee suits to see our first frame lifted respectfully out of the nuc box for our admiration. The bees shimmered on the frame. We were not yet sure exactly what we were looking at, butwe knew we were glad to be alive and aboard
for this bee adventure together as the frame was lowered into our waiting hive.
Over the next few months Chris became both mentor and friend to us all, sharing his considerable knowledgegenerously and patiently in ‘just right’ measures. He is a gifted teacher, as the young at heart can often be, balancing a wealth of knowledge and experience with humility and wonder.
After a strenuous morning atop a wobbly step ladder, trying to re- capture an errant swarm from a tree branch at arm’s length, 16 feet up, we asked why the bees were leaving? He thought about it, oﬀered a few possible ideas to contemplate and then scratched his head and with a grin said, “You know, I don’t really know. It’s been a funny year.”
He’s right about that. In this pandemic year and more, we have sought to make the best of everything. Starting to learn to keep bees is already about so much more than the delicious honey we recently harvested. Even theyoungest of us is able to enthuse at length about bees and bee keeping now.
Chris recently steered his on-line school class through an informative ‘show and tell’ on the subject. It will be one of the treasures we have collected along our way in this life, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if one day, years from now, our boys have bees on their shoulders too.
As Chris can often be heard to say, “It’s a bee-utiful thing!”
Thank you, Chris.
Miller Place, NY
I’m late to the game in being able to get a copy of the most recent Northforker magazine (July 2020), but I’m so grateful I did! My mentor in beekeeping is the top feature! What a terrific article about Chris Kelly and Promise Land Apiaries. It’s a tiny look into the incredible world of beekeeping.
When I started beekeeping a few years ago my passion grew as did my need for more information about how to make my bees happy. Master Beekeeper Chris Kelly offered me a chance to apprentice under him and learn what goes into truly being a beekeeper. I took classes that Chris offers at Talmage’s Agway in Riverhead as well as other area farms out east. When Covid hit during this year’s Continuing Beekeeping class, Chris immediately went to Zoom and YouTube so our class wouldn’t skip a beat.
Chris really makes you think. I recently had a problem with one of my hives and my husband Kevin asked why I wasn’t calling Chris right away. I knew I had learned about it and needed to figure out what I thought was wrong first before I called to confirm. That’s the whole part of what he’s trying to teach in his classes. How I can become a better beekeeper and think for myself. That’s a true mentor — someone who wants you to stand on your own with confidence in what you’re doing.
Sharing his love for honeybees is so multilayered and you can see it when working out in the field with Chris. He shares his experience and knowledge in a way that almost anyone will take something valuable away each time for their own use.
I am grateful beyond measure for the time, adventure and investment that Chris Kelly has put into my beekeeping. My bees are healthy and happier because of him. So am I!
I love the honey you have. It’s the only kind I buy. You have taught myself and granddaughter so much about making honey and just want to say thank you so much. Thank you for sharing your experience with the group for the east end.
Native Bee Inventory & Monitoring Lab: This remarkable USGS program offers free on-line tools to identify species, teach and study nature's wonders, report findings, build maps, along with 4,000 high resolution public domain images.
For information on why bees swarm, visit Swarms.
Right: Chris explains the detrimental effects of fractured foraging on bee health.