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World’s Largest Observation Beehive Now on Display at Stew’s in Norwalk!


Farm fresh food retailer Stew Leonard’s unveiled a new, fully functioning observation beehive at their Norwalk store this June. The observation hive, home to more than 50,000 honeybees, measures 4 ft. x 5 ft. and is one of the largest in the world.


The observation hive is installed behind a fully enclosed safety glass frame in Stew Leonard’s produce department.  A tube runs from the hive and out of the store’s roof so that the bees can leave the hive to get pollen and nectar, flying within a 2 ½ mile radius of Stew Leonard’s to do so. 


Bees play a critical role in the food we consume. More than 60% of the food we eat is dependent on bee pollination! 



(Source: Andrew’s Local Honey)


  • An average observation hive is usually just a few 12 in. x 10 in. frames, but Stew Leonard’s observation hive will have 20 frames. To build it, Stew Leonard’s team worked with local, fourth-generation beekeeper Andrew Cote of Andrew’s Local Honey and Silvermine Apiary and Tim Cerniglia, Jr. of Bee Kind Farms.


  • The hive will be operational from the spring through the late fall; by mid-summer, the honey bee population will swell to 75,000! In the winter, the hive will be dormant, but the bees will stay inside and will be alive, clustering and resting for the next year.


  • Stew’s bees will produce upwards of 100 lbs. of honey this summer – about 100 jars – which will be collected by Andrew’s Local Honey to eventually be sold at Stew Leonard’s!


  • Honey bees are a crucial part of the earth’s food system.  More than 70 of the 100 crops that provide 90% of the world’s food are pollinated by bees.* But, due to changes in the climate and environment, the honey bee population in North America has started to rapidly decline.  Individually owned honey bee hives are seen as one way to combat the problem.(*Source: The Honeybee Conservancy at Rodale Institute)


  • To make one pound of honey, worker bees have to fly 55,000 miles and tap up to two million flowers.


  • The honey bee’s wings make about 200 beats per second, creating their infamous buzzing.


  • Bees are the only insects that produce food eaten by humans.


  • Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water.


  • The average American eats about one pound of honey a year.


  • U.S. honeybees’ economic contribution is valued at nearly $15 billion.


  • Blueberries and cherries are 90-percent dependent on honeybee pollination.


  • Almonds depend entirely on the honeybee for pollination.


  • Honey is the only food that never spoils.