Sweeten Your Spooky Season With Honey From An NYC Cemetery

While the Halloween season offers no shortage of sweet treats, one famous New York cemetery is attempting to keep the spooky season alive in pantries all year round with the help of some fuzzy flying friends. A unique apiary operation at the venerable Green-Wood Cemetery in Greenwood Heights, Brooklyn, is helping the local honey bee population while simultaneously offering a deliciously ghoulish treat to locals and visitors alike.

Over the years the cemetery, first established in 1838, has acted as the final resting place for the likes of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, conductor Leonard Bernstein, and over half a million New Yorkers according to A Slice of Brooklyn. The leafy grounds and historic plots of the park-like graveyard have long been a draw for tourists, locals, and, now, apiary enthusiasts.

The cemetery first launched its beekeeping operation in 2015, initially installing six beehives containing 120,000 bees imported from Pennsylvania on its lush plot of land (via Bklynr). According to Food & Wine, Green-Wood first began bottling the honey from its hives — which has been aptly named The Sweet Hereafter honey — a few years ago, selling limited quantities of the naturally sugary condiment to cemetery visitors each year while supplies last.

Proceeds from the sales of the honey, which ranges in flavor and color depending on the season it's produced and which of the thousands of on-site trees and plants are currently flowering on the property, are used to support the upkeep of Green-Wood's apiary program.

A limited number of jars are sold at the cemetery annually

In order to snag a jar of the cemetery's coveted honey, visitors must visit in person during the limited period the honey is available; but bee lovers can secure their honey supply in advance by becoming a sponsor of the program.

Those who sponsor a potentially haunted hive receive 5-10 3-ounce jars of the locally made honey, an invitation to an annual event for program sponsors, and a certificate recognizing their contribution to Brooklyn's bee population. According to Green-Wood, the sponsorship funds, which aid the cemetery in paying beekeepers and purchasing hive equipment and supplies, help "maintain healthy honey bee colonies, which cross-pollinate Green-Wood's 478 acres and help keep Brooklyn's natural environment healthy and diverse."

The sold-out 2022 sponsorships set bee enthusiasts back $500 to sponsor a full hive and $250 for a half hive. Sponsors can also opt out of receiving jars of honey to enable the cemetery to make the most of their monetary gift and be eligible for full tax deductibility.

Although the 2023 sponsorship slots have yet to open up, those interested in supporting the cemetery's beekeeping operation — and getting their hands on a few jars of The Sweet Hereafter — can subscribe to Green-Wood's email list to be notified when next year's sponsorships open up. In the meantime, apiary enthusiasts can visit the open-to-the-public cemetery's bee colony year-round ... though we'd recommend taking in the buzzing operation from a distance.