The Artist: Rose Viggiano, Proprietor of Chatham Hill Honey.

By / Photography By Damon Jacoby | May 15, 2017
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Honey being harvested at Chatham Hill Honey in the Hudson Valley.
Viggiano extracts the honey from her hives with grace and finesse.

Some say TV rots your brain, but in Rose Viggiano’s case it enlightened hers. While watching a “Nova” special about honeybees, she was overtaken by the urge to become a beekeeper. Having inherited the family country home on 50 acres, she had the space to do it. The worn-out land wasn’t fit for farming, but it was prolific for wildflowers. Perfect for bees.

For advice Rose called a local beekeeper, who suggested a few books that would teach her the basics. Then, two months later, he gave Rose two full-grown hives. At the end of her first year as a beekeeper, Rose was amazed that her interest had not waned. As an artist and teacher, she began to see some parallels between her passions for bees and the art of cast bronze sculpture. Both require patience and collaboration. She even created a line of jewelry cast in silver from beeswax honeycombs. Today Rose has eight active hives and some of the most sought-after honey in Columbia Country.

“I highly recommend beekeeping. To watch a hive is to witness a creative process that is unique and mysterious, not unlike the process of making art.”


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