SUMMIT, NJ – Wednesday, July 10, 2024Reeves-Reed Arboretum is abuzz with excitement to announce the launch of its latest conservation initiative: a beekeeping program aimed at promoting biodiversity and ecological stewardship within its grounds. This initiative underscores the Arboretum’s commitment to environmental sustainability and the vital role that pollinators play in our ecosystem.

The decline of global bee populations in recent years has raised alarm bells worldwide. As pollinators, bees play a crucial role in the reproduction of flowering plants, including many of the species found within Reeves-Reed Arboretum and its neighboring communities. Recognizing the importance of bees in maintaining healthy ecosystems, the Arboretum is taking proactive steps to support bee populations and raise awareness about their significance.

The beekeeping program will offer future educational opportunities for local schools and Arboretum visitors of all ages to learn about the importance of bees, their life cycle, and the role they play in pollination. It will also provide opportunities for community involvement through volunteer activities such as garden planting and pollinator-friendly habitat restoration projects.

To kick off the beekeeping initiative for the non-profit public garden, two hives have been sponsored and installed by Overlook Hospital as part of their Bee Healthy program which currently maintains six hives in its rooftop apiary. Joe Lelinho, a professional beekeeper will lead the charge in maintaining the hives and caring for the bees with support from Reeves-Reed Arboretum staff who have completed the Essex County Beekeepers Society beekeeping course.

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Master Beekeeper Joe Lelinho led Arboretum staff members Althea Llewellyn and Marilyn Foehrenbach in installing the first new beehive. This hive came with an already established, healthy bee colony, and should give the Arboretum a surplus of honey in the first season which they hope to share with the community! An additional “nucleus” hive, or “nuc” (essentially a smaller, starter hive) was added on May 17 giving the Arboretum two active bee colonies.

“We are thrilled to launch our beekeeping program as part of our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship,” shared Althea Llewellyn, Reeves-Reed Arboretum’s Director of Education. “By supporting bee populations and raising awareness about their importance, we hope to inspire others to take action to protect pollinators and preserve biodiversity.”

Reeves-Reed Arboretum invites the community to join in this exciting new initiative and discover the fascinating world of bees. Whether through participation in upcoming educational programs, volunteering, or simply enjoying the beauty of the Arboretum’s pollinator-friendly gardens, everyone can play a part in supporting bee conservation efforts.

For more information about the Arboretum’s beekeeping program contact Althea Llewellyn at or (908) 273-8787 x1920. To find out more about upcoming programs, events, and volunteer opportunities at Reeves-Reed Arboretum, visit


About Reeves-Reed Arboretum: Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a non-profit public arboretum  dedicated to engaging, educating and enriching its visitors to become better stewards of nature and the environment. This mission is achieved through the care and utilization of the historic estate and gardens. Reeves-Reed Arboretum is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places and is currently celebrating its 50th year as a public arboretum and education resource. For more information, visit