Bees Join Regional Hospital Efforts to Promote Community Wellness

It takes 60,000 bees visiting more than 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.

Jun 27, 2017

Ancient Egyptians used honey for medicinal purposes, and Rapid City Regional Hospital will follow in their footsteps. Working as busily as Regional Health caregivers, the bees are collecting nectar to meet an ambitious goal of delivering honey to the hospital restaurant this fall.

It takes 60,000 bees visiting more than 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey. The ancients unknowingly took advantage of honey for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antioxidant properties.

Rapid City Regional Hospital Head Chef Scott Brinker requested the hives as part of a larger sustainability plan and his push to use unprocessed food – food that your grandmother would have recognized as food.

Vice President of Facilities Management Westley Paxton said Regional Health follows a people, planet, prosperity philosophy of sustainability. “Is there anything more sustainable than bees?” he asked.

Brinker said the hospital now makes use of herbs and vegetables from six gardens. Construction is expected to begin soon on a greenhouse to augment that bountiful harvest, said Richard Karsky, senior groundskeeper.

"We're going to have some flowering plants that the bees like to get their nectar from to make the honey," Karsky said.

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