Suburban Sweet Apiary
Suburban Sweet, Strong Island, New York 2017
Lynbrook Couple Plans Suit After Their Colony
Of Honey Bees Was Seized, Fios1 TV, 8/6/17
On Monday, June 26th, 2017, while we were away at work, members of the Village of Lynbrook Buildings and Police Departments entered our backyard, and over the protest of our neighbor, removed our hive, vacuumed out our beautiful bees, and stole all the honey and comb. Their claim was that we had violated an "infestation" code.
Although we had retained legal counsel, who had contacted the Village prior to this date regarding this ridiculous claim, the Village completely ignored our lawyer's communications, instead leaving a warrant in our mailbox after the fact. On June 29th, they dumped the empty, contaminated, useless wooden boxes on our doorstep.
Particularly upsetting was that the individual hired to do this was Walter Blohm, beekeeper at the Queens County Farm Museum, and purportedly a fellow member of the LI Beekeepers Club. To add insult to injury--literally--Blohm told the Village that we are not beekeepers anyway, and that we "don't know what we're doing." I think the LI Beekeepers Club, of which we have been members in good standing for two years, would be surprised to hear that, since we had learned so much from them, and we had enjoyed their support in our efforts.
While our hive, in its first, vulnerable year, overwintered beautifully, the Farm Museum's apiary had a 60% survival rate (CitySpoonful). But, look at our website, and decide for yourselves if we're beekeepers or just "bee-havers," Blohm's insulting term.
Blohm, in a 2013 interview with CitySpoonful, said that honeybees are "not dangerous," and that they are "beneficial." He also added that he hoped that people who keep bees "enjoy it and take good care of the bees." That was exactly what we were doing before he took our hive, and vacuumed out, at his own estimate, 20,000 healthy honeybees.
Not coincidentally, Walter Blohm's brother, Richard Blohm, is a Master Beekeeper, Past President and Board Member of the Long Island Beekeepers Club. In a recent article in Newsday, Richard Blohm emphasized the benefits and importance of honey bees. You'll see a picture of us with Richard on the "About Us" page of this website. In fact, we bought our bees from Richard!
The Village of Lynbrook is simply ignorant. Walter Blohm, who knows better, should be ashamed of himself.
Our beautiful honey bees are gone. Our hive is empty and contaminated. We have had no opportunity for discussion with or education of those involved. Our only option now is to seek justice with the legal system, and this is what we are doing.
There has been a lot of interest from the media. Links are posted on this page. We will keep you updated.
Lynbrook Couple Buzzing After Bees
Seized, News12 Long Island TV
8/21/17 Notice of Claim served on the Incorporated Village of Lynbrook and on Code Enforcement Officer.
10/16/17 50-h hearing at the office of the attorneys representing the Village of Lynbrook: Vigorito, Barker, Porter & Patterson, LLP. Accompanied by our attorney, J. Lee Snead, we were questioned under oath regarding facts relating to the Claim.
7/23/18 The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine. Having completed all the preliminaries, we expect to file in Federal Court in the near future. Stay tuned...
9/26/18 Our attorney, J. Lee Snead, has filed the complaint in US Court, and has served the Village of Lynbrook and all parties who participated in removing our honeybees.
LI Beekeepers Stung By Village
Seizure, Newsday, Article and Video
Lynbrook Officials Stung With $5M Lawsuit, LI Herald, 10/11/18
Couple Says LI Village Destroyed Their Bees in $5M Lawsuit, New York Post, 9/29/18
Lynbrook Couple Outraged After Village Officials Confiscate Their Beehive and Fine Them, LI Herald, 7/13/17