Although most cemeteries are thought to be cold and depressing, Green-Wood Cemetery is actually buzzing with life. The Brooklyn burial site has opened it doors to 100,000 bees who don’t seem at all bothered by their morbid surroundings. In fact, thanks to the thousands of pollen-producing plants on site, such as cherry trees and rhododendron, the bees are going about their daily duties so well that the cemetery will soon be selling their own brand of honey called “the Sweet Hereafter”.



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Green-Wood welcomed the bees in the spring of 2015. According to the cemetery’s manager of development John Connolly, the move was an attempt to avoid colony collapse disorder, a serious and widespread phenomenon where millions of worker bees suddenly abandon their hives, leaving their queen bee virtually alone in the hive.

Related: Do Urban Bees Produce Better, Healthier Honey?

“With colony collapse disorder and the sort of bad management of pest spraying, we felt it’s really vital that we protect our bee populations,” he said.

Bee keeping is new to the cemetery, and selling honey is an effort to pay for the running costs. “We’re trying to see if we can break even on the care of the hives and the jarring and production of honey,” says Connolly. “Altruistic things aside, we can’t lose money on this proposition.” Thanks to the burial site’s abundant flora, Sweet Hereafter Honey will come in a variety of flavors, including mint and tangerine.

As far as the bees’ productivity being hindered by their rather solemn surroundings, Green-Wood beekeeper Davin Larson says the hive is in what some might call bee heaven. “There’s not that many great places to keep bees in New York City. Not a lot of people have backyards and there’s no farmland, so Greenwood is a nice little oasis for them.”

In case you’d like to get a taste of the sweet hereafter, the cemetery will start selling jars of honey near its 25th Street entrance over the next few weeks.

+ Green-Wood Cemetery

Via Brooklyn Paper

Images via Allison Meier Twitter and Green Wood Cementary Facebook