INWOOD — First things first: the yellow jacket wasps are not alive.
If they were, we would be running out of Isham Park in Northern Manhattan and the flying insects would be chasing us, stinging repeatedly.
Parents in the park tell us that’s exactly what happened last month, when the wasps stung a toddler and a dog after their now abandoned nest was disturbed at the base of this tree.
The wasps were reportedly drawn here, because of two newly installed honeybee hives in a nearby garden.
Just about every resident we spoke with says the park had a wasp problem, years before the honeybees arrived this spring.
“If they are honeybees and they pollenate and they help keep the garden and our natural habitat in healthy working order, then that’s a good thing,” said park goer Michelle.
Inside Bruce’s Garden, a husband and wife beekeeper team, both Ukrainian immigrants, showed us the hives.
They’re home to an estimated 80,000 honeybees responsible for all important pollination and a lot of honey.
Andrii Hrabyinski says they are not aggressive. Hrabyinski, a fifth-generation beekeeper, and his wife Natalia are registered with the city and the state to maintain these hives.
“These are domesticated bees that are certified and we got the breed that we are allowed to have in New York City which is peaceful, Italian-bred bees,” said Natalia.