P.O. Darren Mays, assigned to the 104th Precinct, is one of only 2 beekeepers working for the NYPD. When a large collection of bees famously invaded a Times Square hot dog cart in late August, Darren was the officer that responded. NYPD beekeepers do this extra work voluntarily and are not reimbursed for it.
You may be wondering how Darren became a bee expert. His friend Rich started taking beekeeping classes back in 2008. For weeks, Rich bugged Darren to come see his hive and one day he finally accepted his invitation. Darren was hesitant because he was afraid of being stung and didn’t know much about honey bees. But when he arrived at Rich’s house, he was mesmerized by the bees. Darren’s wife surprised him with a starter kit the following Christmas. His first harvest produced 80 lbs. of honey.
Officer Mays commutes every day to the 104th Precinct from Middletown. The hive he set up on the roof of the stationhouse was started in 2014 and has been thriving ever since. It came about when he got 2 calls about 2 separate incidents on the same day. He took the bees from one location to his home hive and brought the ones from the other location to the precinct.
So, what are the most important reasons for being a beekeeper? “Knowing the bees are safe and being able to educate people on the importance of honeybees,” Darren says. “Without them, our food supply would collapse.”
Last year the 104th Precinct’s hive produced 100 lbs. of honey which Darren happily shared with fellow officers.
In addition to herding swarms of bees, he also will remove the nests of nasty paper wasps when they are found on public property and endanger pedestrians. Thank you, Officer Mays, for performing this important service to our community and throughout New York City.