A group of pre-schoolers recently got to meet the honeybees who make their home on the rooftop of Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ. Part of a community nutrition/learning program, the tour also included a walk through the kitchen and a visit to the hospital’s garden, where the kids picked herbs and produce and then participated in a cooking demo.

“They had a blast,” says Michael Atanasio, manager, food and nutrition. “We had the frames removed from the hives so the honey was exposed, and the kids got to try spoonfuls of honey direct from the hive.”

The kids even got a basic understanding of how bees interact with the environment. 

“This is just a small way to reach kids at a young age, about nutrition and also about being good stewards of the environment,” Atanasio says. “It’s part of our mission statement, and one of our contributions to sustainability.”

The group also had fun in the garden, picking ingredients for Pasta Pomodoro, with Executive Chef Todd Daigneault. They even got to learn some basic knife skills, using child-safe knives and close supervision.

Watch the kids’ tour of Overlook here.

Learn more about another New Jersey hospital with its own bee hives here.