West 104th Street Garden

April 16, 2014

A Tip for Getting Rid of Mosquitos

Filed under: Gardening Tips,News — by west104garden @ 4:05 pm

Get rid of mosquitoes. Easy way.



Bee Update

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 4:04 pm

Dear Gardeners,

The bees have become a problem. Saturday, we rejected West Garden locations and voted to put the hive on the stone path in the East Garden. On reflection, beekeeper Elaine concluded that this is not a viable location. The heat of the sun plus the retention of heat in the stone path would make the spot too hot. Given the amount of ongoing debate over whether and where to locate the bees, we have concluded that the best solution is for Elaine to take the bees to the country where she has a suitable location.

Thank you for your interest and your patience. We believe all will agree that we want to do what is best for the bees.

The Steering Committee

October 27, 2013

Queen Code 12012

Filed under: Bees,News — by west104garden @ 11:08 am

It’s not a zip code, it’s the number of queen bees living in my hive at various times between May and October 2013.  The first queen (1) went into the new hive in May; five weeks later, a second queen was spotted in the hive but I didn’t know where she came from (12). I gave this second one to a fellow beekeeper and a week later, my remaining queen was also gone (120). My last report was about the new queen purchased (1201). This new queen, hived in early September, laid eggs for only two weeks and then stopped for unknown reasons. The honeybee farm that provided her (Johnston’s Honey Bee Farm in upstate NY) graciously replaced her at no cost, and that new queen was active immediately. In early October, Tobias Heller (garden member and new beekeeper) and I discovered some very interesting and good news about the hive when we did a complete hive inspection with Barbara Heller’s help.

1) a queen was laying regularly as evidenced by larvae of different ages visible in the honeycomb
2) we did not see the new marked queen from Johnston’s (with a pink dot for identification) but saw evidence of queen activity (larvae)
3) there was a large amount of capped brood – meaning that eggs had been laid in these cells at least a week earlier
4) there was lots of honey to feed the bees over the winter
5) a good amount of pollen was stored in the hive; pollen is needed to ‘build bees’ so the bees were preparing food for the new population
6) the bee population was noticeably higher than before, another good sign the hive would overwinter successfully; we guesstimated about 15,000 bees – about 10,000 is a minimum winter population needed to keep the hive warm enough
7) there was an empty queen cell attached to one of the frames in the middle hive box, indicating that the hive had raised their own queen from one of the worker larvae and that she had successfully emerged from the cell
8) we DID find another queen (12012), just by her very large size, that was most likely the one produced by the hive and that emerged from the queen cell; there is some chance she was fertilized on a nuptial flight in the neighborhood but we don’t know.
9) we have repeatedly found no diseases or parasites of any kind in the hive although other beekeepers on the upper west side have had such problems.

We hope the hive continues to thrive for the remainder of the fall and through the winter. Minimal inspection will be done from now until March or April and that only to see if the bees need additional food and are healthy

September 17, 2013

Mystery Surrounding the New Queen Bee 

Filed under: Bees,News — by west104garden @ 8:12 am
Tags: ,

I wrote earlier that I hived a new queen bee on August 7 and released her a few days later, after the hive and she got acquainted. She took a little time to settle in but by August 23 she appeared to be laying eggs, which was confirmed five days later. There was a good age (size) range of larvae in the brood cells which means the queen was laying regularly. A large number of brood cells were already capped which happens about a week after the eggs are laid. It was a good start for the new queen and improves chances that the hive will be large enough to survive the winter. While the hive was queenless for about 6 weeks, the bees produced lots of honey in honey cells as well as in what had been brood cells.

I returned to check the hive on Wednesday, September 11. It was the first time that Tobias Heller (8 yrs old) – a garden member with his mother Barbara – handled the bees and frames. He now has his own bee jacket with veiled hood, and is a natural. We weren’t surprised since he’s been researching bees, listening closely to my explanations for months and explaining a lot about the hive and bees to garden members who came around during hive inspections. Even when the bees were climbing around on his gloved hands, he was calm and collected.

We checked 2 of the 3 hive boxes, and discovered that the first brood from the new queen had ‘hatched’, that there is still capped brood that will produce more bees, but that there were no larvae of any age. That means the queen stopped laying at least a week ago, and maybe longer. We don’t know why, and we’re not sure if she is still in the hive. We tried to think like a bee and thought maybe she was not laying because she was not happy with the existing honeycomb. So we added a new 4th box of frames, and sprinkled some pollen in to encourage the bees to come up and pull out the embossed wax to make honeycomb cells for eggs. We’ll return next week to see what’s happened, with hopes that our guess was right and that the bees are working the wax and the queen is laying again.

July 25, 2013

Five Smooth Stones – An Interactive Art Project

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 3:05 pm

Five Smooth Stones

  1. First, consider the frame and the space in contains.
  2. Arrange the five stones any way you like.

    Savor your design.

  3. Take a picture of the arrangement with you cell phone other digital device/camera.
  4. Send the image to:west104gardenart@gmail.com
  5. Leave the stones where they will remain until the next participant rearranges them.

All the images taken for this project will be gathered and presented together on a digital quilt on August 2013. Look for it at:


What can you do with five smooth stones?
What can you create?

1 Samuel 17:40

June 10, 2013

Tonight: NW Central Park Multi-Block Association

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 6:12 am

North West Central Park Multiblock Association presents:

Topic:  Our Parks…Access, What’s New and How to Get the Most From Them

Meeting:  6-10-2013, Monday
Location:  Schneider Apartments,  11 West 102nd Street
                      Btw. Central Park West and Manhattan Ave.
Time:  7:00 PM
Special Guest Speaker:  Victor Calise
Current Position:  Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Previous Position:  Accessibility Coordinator for Department of Parks and Recreation
Mr. Calise has worked in the service of the disabled community for over 15 years.
While working at for the City’s Parks Department he worked on Title II compliance for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and provided technical assistance in the design of parks and developed a training curriculum to familiarize Parks employees with accessibility issues.
He has been a resident of our community for many years.  He and his family are active members of the West 104th Street Community Garden.
So come out and join us.  With summer coming up, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about the recreation options in your own neighborhood.
And yes, there will be snacks and tea.  Did you even have to wonder?
Bring a neighbor.  See you there.

June 2, 2013

May 18 Workday Meeting Minutes

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 8:14 pm

Ann Levine presiding


Stage grant

  • $1000 from Citizens Committee for NYC.

  • Melissa wrote the grant to rebuild the stage.

  • Design committee will draw two designs for member vote.



  • Beekeeper, Elaine NYC beekeepers association will help with PR and problems.

  • Assembled in gazebo due to storm.

  • Fence 5ft height will be installed next week to keep kids away and draw bees upward for morning flight.

  • We will invite Elaine to next meeting to explain.

  • Jean noted we need to have room to open the gate. Hive will need to move to the east.

  • A sign was installed to explain hive to garden users.


Flea market is Saturday May 25, 11-6pm

  • Ann distributed flyers.

  • Donations can be dropped off Thurs or Friday in Gazebo or west shed if the is rain.

  • Christine noted that the books are gone. They were donated to housing works as part of shed cleanup. DInorah said that Julia was there when the books were donate.

  • Need volunteers, contact Julia 646-363-4513.


Nikki offered a spare ticket to Yankees Toronto game at 1pm today.


Rocks from 425 CPW available to use in garden

  • Task proposed to cart the rocks to the garden via wheelbarrow.

  • Use for projects around the garden, rock walls, cat area, herb garden, front gate along fences.

  • Peter marked areas to store rocks on east and west garden.

  • Ann called for a member vote to accept the rocks, citing a concern that it would be too much work, too many rocks, not enough use for them.

  • Vote: 24:2 in favor of bringing rocks over.


CP conservancy garden bulb toss

  • Noreen, Sherman, Anat, and Suzanne brought over bulbs.



  • Yenna brought the monitoring calendar.

  • Some people still need to sign up for monitoring dates.

  • Yenna explained that members need to respond to the calendar date invitation in order to receive reminders.



  • Both of our mowers area broken.

  • Sarah Hawkey offered to lend her building mower (104 by Grace church apts).

  • Buy new would be $120 or so.

  • Guy will try to fix the mower today.


Workday tasks:

  • Cart rocks to garden

  • Clean around west garden shed

  • Fix retaining boards or rocks in front of raspberry bushes behind herb garden

  • Invasive weeds move from eastern fence if west garden, volunteer trees

  • Tree stump removal, Jean lead

  • Bulbs can be planted, pansies can be planted in planter by west garden gate

Next meeting June 8

May 23, 2013

Impatiens Downy Mildew: Please don’t plant!

Filed under: News — by west104garden @ 11:07 am
Hi all,
The information below is important to all of us, specially because impatiens are one of the most popular annuals that are planted this time of year. Please take 5 minutes to read it. Thanks Robing for sharing this with us. Greatly appreciated!
_  __ __ __ __ __ ____ _ ___ __ __ _ __
Email from Robin…
I’ve been hearing about this new blight that’s infecting impatiens. It’s called Impatiens Downey Mildew (IDM) , which sounds suspiciously like the powdery mildew we already struggle with. Attached is the text from an article from Mass Hort society. Also a link to their page.
It seems important – they’re recommending that gardeners not plant impatiens this year.
Can someone please make sure this information gets out to the garden members 




November 12, 2012

Hurricane Relief from FEMA

Filed under: News,Notices — by Noreen Whysel @ 4:57 pm
Tags: ,

Most of us were very lucky: Manhattan Valley escaped Sandy’s wrath.
But if you have friends or family who are struggling, this might be helpful.

Federal Emergency Management Agency

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has activated its transitional shelter program, which allows those who cannot return to their homes because of storm damage to stay in participating hotels, motels or other housing. You must first register with FEMA at a recovery center, by calling             (800) 621-3362       or by going to DisasterAssistance.gov.

November 4, 2012

Ways to help from boro prez, Scott Stringer

Filed under: News,Opportunities — by Noreen Whysel @ 4:16 pm
Tags: ,

   How to Volunteer or Donate—Help NYC Recover from Hurricane Sandy 

Dear Friend:As our City begins to recover from Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to share information about relief groups and other charitable organizations to which you can donate, if it’s difficult for you to personally offer supplies and shelter to people in need.VOLUNTEERING IN NEW YORK CITY

There are numerous ways to help here in the city, and a good place to start is by registering as a volunteer with NYCService’s Facebook page. The organization has asked people to contact NYC Service with their names, email contacts, and boroughs. You can also register to be a New York Cares volunteer and be part of their disaster response team.

The Food Bank for New York is also accepting donations and possibly volunteers. Check its websites for more information.


All of your donations to the Red Cross will provide shelter and other support to people who have been directly affected by the Hurricane.

To donate, visit www.redcross.org, call 800-Red-Cross or text the word “Redcross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Currently blood supplies are low in areas hit by the storm, and the Red Cross is asking people to schedule appointments to donate blood in the New York/New Jersey area. To donate, call             800-933-2566       or visit www.nybloodcenter.org.


There are scores of mobile feeding units and shelters up and down the East Coast operated by the Salvation Army, and they are serving thousands of people. You can also make a donation.

Feeding America is distributing water, food and supplies to thousands of people in the storm’s disaster zones. To donate, visitwww.feedingamerica.org or call             800-910-5524      .

AmeriCares is delivering medicine and other supplies to people affected by the storm. To donate, visit www.americares.org.

Personal hygiene items and food kits are being provided to thousands by World Vision. To donate, visit www.worldvision.org.

Other charities and relief groups offering food, medicine and other assistance include Catholic Charities USADirect Relief International, and Operation Blessing International.


Save the Children provides emergency aid to families and addresses the special needs of their children. You can visitwww.savethechildren.org to donate. World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse are also providing emergency relief and seeking volunteers for children.


If you’re interested in helping animals find safe haven and good care after the hurricane, the Humane Society of the United Statesand the American Humane Association have teams working on the problem and they need your help. Donations are especially needed to help rescue stranded pets and aid animals currently in shelters.


Team Rubicon (            310-338-1149      ) has dispatched teams to begin cleanup work and Samaritan’s Purse is also seeking volunteers to help our City rebuild.


Remember that Hurricane Sandy devastated the Caribbean and claimed many lives before it hit the United States. Operation USAand the International Medical Corps are aiding those affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba. Operation USA is also providing aid to the East Coast.


Finally, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency offers a range of programs delivering aid to those affected directly by the hurricane. Check out the FEMA website for information and ways to help.


This evening NBC will broadcast a telethon to benefit those impacted by Sandy, starring Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and other performers. On Monday, ABC will observe “A Day of Giving” on several shows to generate donations. Check both stations for more details.


If you are planning to give to a nonprofit in the wake of any disaster, you should first verify that it is legitimate. Charity evaluators likeGuidestar and Charity Navigator as well as FEMA can help you determine whether the organization to which you’re donating has a good track record, and that funds will go where you intend.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Donations will not result in preferential treatment by City officials.


Scott M. Stringer,
Manhattan Borough President

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Office of the Manhattan Borough President
Municipal Building: One Centre Street, 19 Floor, New York, NY 10007 • Tel:             212-669-8300       • Fax: 212-669-4306
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