How a Greenpoint beekeeper tends to his hive

Sculptor Noah Loesberg at work with a friend on his Greenpoint rooftop.
Noah Loesberg

This Greenpoint artist is generating lots of buzz. 

Sculptor Noah Loesberg has turned his tenement rooftop into an urban apiary, where he has nurtured bee hives for four years, and recently started hawking his honey at the McGolrick Park farmers market.

Loesberg’s interest in bees was first piqued 15 years ago when he made a sculpture based off the basic structure of a beehive. He considered getting into beekeeping for a decade until he finally committed in 2016 and dove headfirst into the world of urban beekeeping. 

After researching the best methods, he set up shop on the roof of his Greenpoint apartment building after getting the okay from his landlord, who he said took no issue with the idea. Working on the rooftop has presented challenges of its own, though, due to being accessible only by ladder. 

Some winged Greenpoint residents.Noah Loesberg

“Mostly it’s schlepping,” Loesberg said. “The hardest point is when you’re harvesting honey, a box of honey, you might be carrying a rectangular box that’s 40 pounds, and it’s on your one arm while you’re going down a ladder.”

Spurred by a slowdown in freelance gigs due to the pandemic, Loesberg has begun selling his harvest on Sundays at McGolrick Park during the farmers market, where he plans on selling until his September stash sells out. In previous years, he sold through word-of-mouth and at the Greenpointers holiday market.

For Loesberg, getting into beekeeping was a natural progression after working for years on sculptures that require methodical, process oriented thinking in the same way caring for a beehive does.

“You need to react to stimuli in the moment, you also have a view for the whole year of bees,” he said. “Whatever manipulation you have to do you may be limiting your options further down the road. This is part of the attraction, it’s a very complicated intellectual system, as well as physically stimulating.”