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Island to Table: A unique agricultural business in Tom’s Honey Bees

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In some of the most perfect parts of Long Island, you will find longtime beekeeper Tom Tyrell tending to his hives.

He’s been operating bee hives for 22 years and selling his honey to Long Islanders for eight of those years.

As of now, Tyrell manages 100 hives, from which he sells raw, natural honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen, natural soap, lip balm, beeswax candles, bees themselves, and he offers pollination services to Long Island farmers to support their fruit and vegetable crops.

“We are a unique agricultural business,” said the owner of Tom’s Honey Bees. “There are not many commercial beekeepers on Long Island. Currently, there are approximately five who are capable of providing pollination to our Long Island farms for their crops and produce a local wholesome specialty product like honey.”

Tyrell considers his bees to be part of his team and the focal point of his business.

He advocates for them as the Long Island Director of the Empire State Honey Producers Association and as a member of the Apiary Industry Advisory Committee to New York State Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball. The bees he keeps are gentle, hardy and highly productive, he says.

Tom’s Honey Bees will be donating honey for the dessert course of Island to Table where it will be an ingredient in Chef Lauren Lombardi’s Lemon Ricotta Cake with Honey Mascarpone Cream and Fresh Local Blueberries.

The Island to Table outdoor dining experience in New Village will feature five local chefs cooking with local products. Aside from raising money for sustainability projects, the event seeks to raise awareness about Long Island’s local food sources, from land and water. Greaterpatchogue.com is Island to Table’s official media sponsor.

“I am truly pleased to help further the cause for locally produced food,” he said.

You can find Tom’s Honey Bees every Saturday morning at the Islip Farmers Market outside Islip Town Hall on Main Street through Nov. 19.

Or, check out his Etsy shop any other day of the week!Tickets for Island to Table are $150 per person. Click here to purchase tickets online. 

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About the author: Melissa Kuehnle

Melissa Kuehnle is a Medford resident and lover of all things edible. She blogs about food from the Greater Patchogue area and beyond at yumness.wordpress.com.