Extraordinary People

Family using 'Sweet Beez' to bring beehives to Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) - A local family has left the Rochester community buzzing after starting a non-profit educational program.

What started out as a hobby has brought people of all ages together.

About seven years ago, the Babcocks moved to the 19th Ward in Rochester. And because of their love for gardening, they quickly decided to fill a void in the neighborhood.

"There was just this vacant lot and it was just a major trash collector and so we decided we could do something to make it a nice, welcoming space in our neighborhood," said Christin Babcock, Sweet Beez co-founder.

But with a garden this big, they knew they had far more than their family needed and so they decided to share with the neighbors.

"They stop and chat and they help themselves to tomatoes or collard greens or whatever so it's just a nice way to connect in a different way," says Christin.

Shortly after, they found another hobby to share with their neighborhood.

"We had a lot of neighborhood kids coming over to look at our bees and we just saw a real fascination in the neighborhood and community, a real avenue into building relationships with people," says Bryan Babcock.

Only this time, they wanted to take it further. That's when they created Sweet Beez Incorporated, an educational non-profit program where they teach people about honey bees. "We thought the education of the honey bee would be really important and it goes really well with community gardens and both things are happening in cities all over and we thought why not Rochester."

And recently they added a beehive to School #58 making it one of the first public schools in the state to have an education bee program on school premises.

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