Episode 47: Christina Joy Neumann


by Rodney Wilson

Pittsburgh apiarist Christina Joy Neumann talks with Hobby Farms Presents: Growing Good host Lisa Munniksma about beekeeping, sustainability in the honey industry and more.

Learn about the evolution of Christina’s Apoidea Apiary and how she sees her career in architecture and her work with bees as intrinsically related. (Think about bees as natural architects!) She shares her fascination with bees as eusocial creatures and with their ability to efficiently make their own food and homes.

Hear about the 70 to 110 hives that Christina manages and the seasonality of beekeeping in urban Pittsburgh, both from the perspective of the bees and the beekeeper. Christina talks about the high-level craft of creating honey and how she encourages consumers to appreciate her Certified Naturally Grown honey as an artisan farm product.

Dive into what takes place behind the scenes of commercial-scale beekeeping, including the industrialized system of migratory beekeeping, commodified honey processing and labeling, and bee welfare. You’ll hear about the study Christina is participating in with a researcher at Chatham University about the question of what truly sustainable honey production would look like.

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Get to know Burgh Bees, a beekeeper education group in Pittsburgh, and Co-Nectar, the honey tasting room, cafe, and art space that Christina and family members are opening in 2023. At the end, Christina touches on the terroir and different flavor profiles of honey.

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