Louisville Magazine

JUN 2019

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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52 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 6.19 THE BIT of visitors, and asked him to catch bees elsewhere. "And I don't understand why," he says. "One day I met Lonnie Ali. My swarm box was right there, and I asked her, 'Do you mind?' She loved it." He's had plenty of success since he first brought about four of his own beehives to the cemetery several years ago, lured by its ecological potential. ‚e 296-acre cemetery's abundance of flowers and plant life, proximity to Beargrass Creek, and five lakes make it a honeybee utopia. "It was a rich environment that really had been untapped," says Michael Higgs, recording secretary for Cave Hill and manager of the Cave Hill Foundation. "My bees have done well here," Bernal confirms. His collection has grown to 13 hives, and he says they are far more pro- ductive than the hives at his rural home in Oldham County. Higgs says that, last year, Cave Hill sold about 1,500 to 2,000 jars of honey, harvested and bottled privately by Bernal and then sold back to the ceme- tery. An eight-ounce jar costs $10, and 16-ouncers go for $13. Bernal encouraged the cemetery to develop a beekeeping team of its own, led by head apiarist Roger Martin. Cave Hill now manages eight hives separately from Bernal's, and though they are not yet pro- ducing honey, Higgs expects bounties in the seasons to come, and Cave Hill is set- ting up a honey house in a small building near the entrance to the cemetery, where workers will process and bottle honey on their own. A short drive down a winding, narrow road leads us into an old part of the ceme- tery, where many of the graves have worn down into lichen-blotched illegibility; the death dates remaining visible list years in the late 1800s. Bernal's 13 hives stand in a row before a high brick wall, each a stack of pastel-colored boxes, some only one box high, one a towering six. ‚e differ- ent colors help bees differentiate between hives, Bernal says. When I ask about the monkeys he's painted on the sides, their tales swirling like hypnotists' pendulums,

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