Bees Get New Home Atop Fire Station One as Part of Youth Entrepreneur Program

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer joined District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill and Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale for the installation of three new honeybee hives on the garden roof of Fire Fighting Station One in Downtown Orlando.

The hives, one of which was donated by Commissioner Hill, part of Black Bee Honey, part of the Parramore Kidz Zone youth entrepreneur program that teaches how to start a business and also beekeeping skills as well.

“We thought this was an excellent opportunity to have the kids interact with the firefighters, learn more about firefighting, maybe make that a career, and also teach firefighters about bees,” said Chief Barksdale. “It just shows what young people can do. People many times point to the negative, but today it has been a great positive story.”

The honey collected in the hives will be used to make a new Black Bee Honey product, a treat infused with heat from hot peppers. Called “Flaming Hot Honey,” it will be sold in the summer of 2021 along with the other products in many farmer’s markets.


Libby Simms, one of the students in the program, admits she used to run away from bees, but has come to appreciate them as important.

“The first time I suited up I was so nervous, but once I learned that the bees react how you react, everything was great,” she said. “This program teaches us so many skills, life skills, money managing skills, and especially to go after what we want.”

Alexis Hicks, coordinator for Black Bee Honey, explained that the program started with the kids themselves, who reached out to an apiary in Gainesville and started bottling honey and selling it in the local farmer’s.

Thanks to the Office of Sustainability, they could install one in the facility at Waste Water to localize the honey sales, and then the Fire Department volunteered to have more.

“This shows that if you have an idea, stick with it and see how far can you go,” she explained.


Juan Carlo Rodriguez is a politics and entertainment reporter for Florida National News. |

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