Press Releases

Honey, We’re Back: Hilltop Honey rebuilds Cora Hartshorn Arboretum Bee Exhibit After Mistakenly Contaminated by Pesticides

On June 16th, the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum will host a ”Honey We’re Back”  celebration from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM to commemorate the return of the honeybee hive exhibit to the arboretum.  The arboretum's bee keeper, Joe Lelinho of Hilltop Honey, LLC, will be on hand to answer questions about the hive, and also have great bee products available for purchase including honey and beeswax-based items. 

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum’s honeybee hive exhibit was mistakenly sprayed with pesticides in early May, 2012 which killed the Queen and caused the drones to devour their eggs and leave the hive. Subsequent to the spraying, beekeeper Lelinho saved all viable bees and took them back to his hives located in North Caldwell, NJ.  Lelinho has rebuilt the hive, introduced a new queen to the colony and will be bring it back to the arboretum for their welcome home party.  The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is confident that this hive will be as vibrant and robust as its previous one. 

"Bees are not pests.  They play an important role in pollinating flowering plants, and are a vital component to the health of trees, crops, and flowers.  It is estimated that one third of the human food supply depends on insect pollination most of which is accomplished by bees," said Joe Lelinho. "People should not fear honeybees, rather should welcome them as an irreplaceable component in the environment we live in."

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“While the damage to the hive is truly a tragedy, we believe it is also an opportunity to engage in a conversation with our neighbors and the community about the role that bees play in the environmental health of our communities,” said Judy Trigg, Executive Director of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum.  “The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is dedicated to helping the community to better understand environmental issues such as the importance of bees in pollinating crops and orchards.” 

To help fund the restoration of the bee exhibit, the community can adopt bees -- 100 bees for $25,  250 bees for $50, 600 bees for $100, 1000 bees for $150.  All donations are tax deductible.  

For additional information about the “Honey, We’re Back” celebration, to adopt a bee or to make a general donation contact the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum at 973-376-3587 or visit us on the web at 


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