Culinary News from The Culinary Institute of America

Bees Lead to Straight A’s for Future Food Policy Leaders

Beekeeper Dennis Macheska, who is also the associate dean—student affairs & housing at the CIA, points out the queen bee to CIA students as a colony is introduced into the college’s apiary on May

Apiary Built at CIA as Part of Applied Food Studies Major

Hyde Park, NY – Instead of chef jackets and toques, some students at The Culinary Institute of America will soon be donning white beekeeping suits and hats with mesh face coverings for one of their classes. The world’s premier culinary college has created an apiary with beehives housing about 50,000 bees on its New York campus. The bees were delivered on May 2 and will be cared for by juniors and seniors in the project in Applied Food Studies course who raised funds for the project and built the hives.

“One out of every four bites of food we enjoy depends on pollinators,” says Dr. Maureen Costura, who teaches the class. “The loss of pollinators is a major issue in the food world. We want CIA students and graduates to be advocates for understanding the interconnectedness of the food system. Beekeeping is also an important skill for chefs to know as many farm-to-table restaurants are starting their own hives.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate four out of every five flowering crops. They are necessary for all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as the grains that keep the beef and dairy industries going. Professor Costura adds that without bees, the cost of food would skyrocket, creating crisis and unrest around the world.

In addition to being an invaluable hands-on learning experience for students, the CIA apiary—which includes the hives and surrounding bee-friendly environment—is expected to produce up to 120 pounds of honey each year, to be used in the college’s baking and pastry classes and in dishes served at the award-winning restaurants on campus.

As the CIA’s bee colony naturally grows, it is expected to be home to upwards of 200,000 bees by this fall. When students are off campus, Hudson Valley beekeepers—including some CIA staff and faculty—will help maintain the hives.

Applied Food Studies is one of five bachelor’s degree majors offered at the CIA, along with Food Business Management, Culinary Science, Hospitality Management, and Culinary Arts. The program offers students an in-depth understanding of global food resources, policy, and cultures. Graduates are prepared to tackle the issues facing food systems from a chef’s perspective, where they can make a difference working for advocacy and policy-making organizations, health agencies, and food industry councils, and by bringing their global view to restaurant kitchens.

Photo Captions and Hi-Res Images:

Top Photo: With CIA Professor Maureen Costura looking on in her beekeeping suit, a new colony of bees is released into a hive at the apiary on The Culinary Institute of America campus in Hyde Park, NY in May 2018. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
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Photo 2: Beekeeper Dennis Macheska, who is also the associate dean of student affairs and housing at The Culinary Institute of America, points out the queen bee to CIA students as a colony is introduced into the college’s apiary on May 2, 2018. (Photo credit: CIA/Phil Mansfield)
View hi-res image >

Media Contact:

Jeff Levine
Communications Writer

About The Culinary Institute of America:

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is the world’s premier culinary college. Dedicated to developing leaders in foodservice and hospitality, the independent, not-for-profit CIA offers bachelor’s degrees in management, culinary arts, culinary science, and applied food studies, and associate degrees in either culinary arts or baking and pastry arts. The college also offers executive education through its Food Business School along with certificate programs and courses for professionals and enthusiasts. Its conferences, leadership initiatives, and consulting services have made the CIA the think tank of the food industry and its worldwide network of nearly 50,000 alumni includes innovators in every area of the food business. The CIA has locations in New York, California, Texas, and Singapore.

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