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Once thought to be allergic to bees, one 25-year-old New Jersey man has turned his favorite hobby into a full-scale business while helping others to learn more about apiculture — the art of beekeeping — along the way.

Dumont native Patrick Harrison, primary beekeeper at HarBee Beekeeping now open on Route 206 in Newton — tells DailyVoice.

com that he once thought he was allergic to bees following an incident at scout camp when he was young.

“Someone stepped on what was probably a wasp nest, after that, I carried an EpiPen,” he said.

After testing negative for the allergy during his first year at Bergen Community College, he attended a class about gardening that included a discussion about bees.

“Since then I have been hooked,” he said. “I bought a beginner bee book and got my first two colonies that following spring.”

Harrison quickly advanced in the industry by teaming up with a commercial beekeeper and working one-on-one with customers in their own yards.

He then used his extensive knowledge to help open HarBee, which not only sells fresh honey and candles but offers beekeeping services and educational classes for beginners.

“What makes HarBee different is that we put on education programs that are free for all of the online material, dedicate a lot of time to managing bees in different ways sometimes trying different things, and most importantly we keep bees for people in their yard,” he said.

Harrison hopes to use HarBee to help others learn about and appreciate the art of beekeeping.

“I would like to see more people get into the hobby of growing food for themselves,” said Harrison. “There are many gardeners and beekeepers, but there [are] more people growing grass lawn, which they do not eat.” 

Meanwhile, Harrison stresses the critical importance of supporting small, local farms and farmers.

“Supporting farmers buying what they are growing is the number one way to keep farming in New Jersey,” he said. “There are certainly more than a few farmers in the state who could sell their land…but choose not to.”

“When you make it worthwhile for them to hire someone that will take over the operations or have a child that would do so, you are keeping farms in the state. I have been fortunate enough to have that support.” 

Follow HarBee on Facebook and Instagram and visit its website for the latest updates.

HarBee Beekeeping, 408 Rt. 206, Newton, NJ

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Surgeon: Pilot had remarkable recovery after passing out

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The 64-year-old pilot of a small plane who became incapacitated, leaving his passenger with no flying experience to land the Cessna in Florida earlier this month, suffered a tear in his aorta, his surgeon said.

Dr. Nishant Patel, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, said in a news conference Thursday that Kenneth Allen’s recovery from the aortic dissection was remarkable.

“Every step of the way, it was really extraordinary that he was able to get through it,” Patel said. “The first thing he said to me the morning after surgery was, ‘When can I go home?’”

Allen was flying two passengers to Florida from the Bahamas on May 10 when he lost consciousness.

Darren Harrison told NBC’s “Today” show earlier this week the “hand of God” was with him when he landed the plane after Allen passed out.

Harrison said he was relaxing with his feet up in the back of the single-engine plane after a fishing trip in the Bahamas when the pilot told him and another passenger: “Guys, I gotta tell you I don’t feel good.”

“He said, ‘I’ve got a headache and I’m fuzzy and I just don’t feel right,'” the 39-year-old flooring salesman said. “And I said, ‘What do we need to do?’ and at that point he didn’t respond at all.”

“All I saw when I came up to the front was water out the right window and I knew it was coming quick. At that point I knew if I didn’t react, that we would die,” Harrison told NBC.

Harrison, of Lakeland, landed the plane at Palm Beach International Airport a short time later with the assistance from Air Traffic Controller Bobby Morgan.

An ambulance was waiting at the airport and Allen was taken first to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, where he was suffering signs of a stroke that left the left side of his face droopy and the loss of movement on one side of his body.

Patel said when doctors discovered Allen needed complex cardiac care, he was transferred to Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center.

When Allen arrived, he was “confused and lethargic,” Patel said. He then underwent a nine-hour procedure to correct the aortic dissection.

Patel and his team stopped the blood flow to every organ except Allen’s brain, which meant his body temperature was cooled.

“When you cool someone down that low, the clock is ticking,” Patel said. He said Allen had no excessive bleeding during the surgery or afterward.

“The moment that he was describing to his friends on the plane, ‘Hey guys, I don’t feel well. I have the worst headache of my life. I’m feeling fuzzy, dizzy.’ That is the exact event that the tear occurred in his aorta,” Patel said. “To be able to survive that acute event was really quite remarkable.”

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