CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – Daniel Kolasa has a sweet new gig.
“It’s something I love to do," said Kolas, who works as a radiographer at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center.
In his spare time, Kolasa also works as a beekeeper. He actually used to be afraid of bees until he took up the hobby five years ago to overcome his fear.
Before moving to the New River Valley, Kolasa worked at a hospital in New Jersey that had beehives on its roof. He said it was something patients, visitors and employees all loved, so he wanted to create some buzz at Carilion New River Valley Medical Center.
He applied for a grant and won $3,000 from the Carilion Clinic Foundation Board to start the Bee Healthy Apiary this spring.
“I was very happy to see that and I was proud that Carilion actually supported something like this,” said Kolasa.
Bees help pollinate a majority of the food we eat and Kolasa said they create a healthy environment that, in turn, creates a healthy community.
“Local beekeepers support the local ecosystem," said Kolasa. "Especially for the farmers, all the trees that are blooming, they’ll produce more flowers. It’ll be a nicer environment.”
Bees can fly several miles and pollinate fruit and crops that we eat. Since bees are endangered, Kolasa hopes to teach others about bees, what they do for us, and ensure these hives thrive.
“They’re essential to our survival as human beings," said Kolasa.
In the future, he hopes the bees can produce enough honey so Carilion can sell it to patients or visitors because local honey is natural and healthier for you.