types of pollinating insects. We are stewards
of the environment. This is a simple example
Bidermann purchased nucleus colonies
— an established collection of honeybees
with a queen intact — and inserted trays into
the hives for harvest. The bees, as expected,
behaved like bees throughout the summer.
“Depending on the activity level of the
hive, you may have to feed them with a
simple syrup. We found that our bees didn’t
need that. They started foraging right away,”
NEXT CAME THE HONEY. In late August, Urbanski’s team sliced honey off the combs and placed it into a
centrifuge. Bidermann harvested more than
five gallons of honey. That equates to more
than 60 pounds – bottled and branded in
house, with a label that reads, “Bee Crafted
by our little friends and grounds staff for the
preservation of nature and wildlife.”
“We had very vibrant hives our first year,”
Urbanski said. “We could’ve taken more honey,
but we said, ‘Let’s keep enough reserves. Let’s
make sure they get through the winter OK,
and then we’ll see.’”
Bidermann distributed bottles to attendees
of the club’s annual year-end awards dinner.
Chef Dave Daddezio used the honey in his
seasonal menu, too.
John Lermond, Bidermann’s equipment
manager, oversees the club’s bee project. He
and Urbanski worked hand-in-hand with Don
Coats, a retired veterinarian and bee consultant of 15 years.
“It’s been great. The bees are just amazing,”
Lermond, 47, of Wilmington, Del., said. “There
was a lot to learn. I still have a lot to learn.
Luckily, we have Don helping us out.”
Coats advises Bidermann’s team in areas
such as colony health and disease prevention
and treatment. He gives the inaugural year an
“A” thus far.
“They were beginner beekeepers, so I think
I helped them get off to a more solid start
to their year,” Coats, 76, of Chadds Ford, Pa.,
said. “The hives are new and the bees appear
healthy. The challenge now is to sustain that
all through the winter.”
Coats is among the worker bees in Bider-
mann’s hive. Consider Stead the queen bee
when it comes to the project’s existence in the
“Paul is our inspiration,” Urbanski said. “I’ve
known Paul for a long time and respect him
tremendously. The work that he’s done there
at Kennett, the establishment of wildflowers
for all different types of pollinating insects,
has been fantastic. He’s done so much for golf
courses in terms of the environment.”
Stead always held an interest in beekeep-
ing. Intrigue swarmed into action following a
stroll by Kennett Square’s stream restoration.
“I was looking at a riparian buffer, thinking
of the headlines about the pollinators being
in danger, and I put the two together and
thought I could start an apiary here on the
golf course,” Stead, 53, of Newark, Del., said.
“I kind of like using that as a canary in a
coalmine. Golf courses tend to get a bad per-
ception for spraying chemicals. I said, ‘Well, if I
can keep bees on the golf course for a period
of years, it kind of validates our environmental
programs. It will tell us that we’re doing things
right, that we can keep bees and manage a
A riparian buffer is a vegetative area beside
a water resource that protects said water
resource from pollution and land use threats.
Stead learned more about beekeeping and
engaged in discussions with club officials to
launch his apiary initiative. Kennett Square
became a member of the Chester County
Beekeepers Association, too. The club’s hive
haven sits approximately 150 feet from the
14th fairway and next to an irrigation pond.
Stead started his beekeeping effort with two
hives, extracting snippets of surplus honey.
Three hives netted six gallons of honey in
2016. Growth continues as four hives harvest-
ed 20 gallons – that’s 230 pounds – of honey
this year. Like Urbanski, Stead provided five
gallons to his chef, Don Sanders, and shared
jars with members and visitors alike.
“For me to do something is good, but if
10, 20 or 100 of us are doing it, that’s all the
better. It’s something new to talk about,” Stead
said. “I think a lot of guys are interested and
curious and contemplating it to some degree.
I find it’s always a topic whenever I go any-
where. People start talking about the bees.”
Bidermann is still buzzing.
“This has been such a cool experience. I
don’t know of too many clubs in Philadelphia
that are doing projects like this,” Urbanski
The bee hives are housed next
to Bidermann’s 15th hole