Garden Club of Madison is BEE-ing Thankful for Bees

Two queens…
25,000 workers…
Sunflower and Hyacinth bee “hotels”…
A retired oncology researcher and former teacher + Garden Club of Madison

On Easter Sunday, two backyard beekeepers (aka, Lewis Strauss and Deirdre Prisco) from Madison, Ct., met a truck coming back from a 34-hour roundtrip to Georgia and they picked up two 3-pound packages of Bauer Park’s newest residents: Honey bees!

This project happened in what is fondly called a Madison Minute (sorta like a New York Minute). Last year at the Bauer Harvest Festival, with hundreds of people happy to BEEing out with their families and friends — so happy after pandemic isolation and now on a gorgeous day enjoying face-painting, hay rides, checking out the community gardens and apple orchard, munching on burgers — some “bumping into” happened. Lewis and Deirdre bumped into their friend Elinor Griffith (of the Garden Club of Madison) who then bumped into Pippa Mannino (the Garden Club’s co-president) who all together bumped into Holly Johnson (on Bauer Park Advisory Committee).

AND the talk turned to bees: “Are there any hives here?”

“No,” was the short answer. “But it could be really nice.”

In the ensuing 6 months the enthusiastic work of many groups stands out: the Garden Club of Madison, which superfast financed the bees and hives with a $1000 donation; Ted Rahman (chair of Bauer’s Advisory Board) and the committee; Austin Hall (director of Madison’s Beach and Rec Dept) and his split-rail-fence-installing crew; and a retired art teacher (Katie Kindilien) who with Deirdre painted the hives.

Everything fell into place for a buzzing-good afternoon on Friday, May, 20… World Bee Day. Some 60 people showed up to view the hives and try to catch a peek of the queen bees who can lay some 1000 eggs daily. Bees were then chosen as the Garden Club of Madison’s theme for its annual luncheon at the Madison Beach Club.

The next bee event: The upcoming 2022 Bauer Harvest Festival (257 Copse Road, Madison, Ct.) on October 15, BEE-tween 11 am – 3 pm. Once again our beekeepers will open the hives for a closer look. AND newsflash: beekeeper Deirdre Prisco is BEE-coming a member of the Garden Club of Madison.

Any garden club interested in introducing bee hives into their community — in a park, for instance, or community garden or building rooftop — can contact GCM publicity chair Renee Allen ( for more details.