‘Chill’ bees make a home in Frisco’s Hall Park

two beekeepers opening a hive
Beekeeper Rock Delliquanti (right) holds the top to a hive as Michelle Winter checks the health of the bees. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

Beekeeper Rock Delliquanti (right) holds the top to a hive as Michelle Winter checks the health of the bees. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

Rock Delliquanti holds his hand out in front of a small, stainless steel canister as gray smoke escapes the top.

Delliquanti, a beekeeper, is testing the temperature of the smoke before he directs it at the hives located at the Hall Park business park in Frisco.

He likened smoking the bees to a “knock at the door,” or a signal to let them know that the beekeepers have arrived.

Beekeepers have to ensure that the smoke is not too hot for the honeybees.

“It’s like when you test a baby bottle to see if it’s hot,” beekeeper Michelle Winter said while unpacking a supply kit in the sculpture garden at Hall Park.
Beekeeper Rock Delliquanti fills a smoker with pine straw. Smoke alerts bees that the beekeepers are coming into their hive. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

Both Delliquanti and Winter are beekeepers for Alveole, an urban beekeeping company based in Canada. Alveole tends to more than 3,400 hives in 21 cities across North America and Europe.

Delliquanti and Winter manage 24 clients and 40 hives in the North Texas area. In addition to Hall Park, they take care of hives in Plano, Richardson, Dallas and other cities in the metroplex.

Hall Park welcomed Alveole and its bees earlier this year in May. Staff at the development were looking for other ways to engage the community while benefiting the environment, Hall Park's Director of Park Experience Barbara Milo said.

There are two hives at Hall Park, both facing Dallas Parkway. Each hive has its own queen, so Delliquanti calls them “neighbors.”
bees and their queen on a frame

He visits Hall Park every three weeks to check the health of the hives. The routine includes balancing the amount of brood, or baby bees, and resources, or pollen and honey. If there are too many eggs, the frames inside the hive will get too full for the bees’ comfort. If there is too much food, that leaves less space for baby bees, which shrinks the population.

Frisco tends to have strong hives, so beekeepers often take baby bees from Hall Park to other hives that need a population boost, Winter said.

The beekeepers’ goal is to keep all of their hives at around the same strength. Winter said sometimes that objective is harder than it seems.

“Sometimes [Hall Park will] have 10 frames of brood, which is just an unreasonable amount,” she said. “And then other hives will have like three, so we have to keep giving them [resources].”

Although Hall Park bees are ahead of the production curve, Alveole bees are Italian bees, which are a friendlier species, Delliquanti said. This means that they are not the best bee if someone wants to produce the most honey, but they are ideal for educating the community.

“We would much rather you be able to come here without all the extra equipment [and] without being stressed,” Delliquanti said. “The bees are just flying around and being chill.”

The bees are calm enough that beekeepers do not have to wear a full suit with a veil. Usually, the only extra attire Delliquanti and Winter wear are a hat or bandanna, which prevents them from catching bees in their hair.
Beekeeper Rock Delliquanti holds a frame in Hall Park where bees have created a wax seal in the bottom right corner. (Brooklynn Cooper/Community Impact Newspaper)

At the end of the year, Hall Park will have honey, beeswax candles and lip balm from the bees. The products will either be distributed to tenants or sold in the gift shop, Milo said.

The Alveole website has a request form for local products in addition to a blog where Delliquanti posts hive updates.

Hall Park hosts workshops that provide an opportunity for tenants to learn more about the hives. They range from honey jarring to more educational formats, such as a Meet Your Bees session. Milo said she is exploring the idea of eventually expanding the workshops to the public, but she wants to see how the tenants respond first.

Until then, Delliquanti said that if Hall Park visitors ever see him tending to the hive, he would be happy to answer questions.

“These are our bees that we’re taking care of, but these are Hall Park’s bees in the sense that this is part of their community,” he said. “We want people to come out, ask questions [and] see the bees.”
By Brooklynn Cooper
Brooklynn Cooper covers public education in Frisco and McKinney. Previously, she reported on southern Dallas for The Dallas Morning News. The Durham, N.C. native and devoted Tar Heel fan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019.


Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opened in Northwest Austin on Nov. 2. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Tewbeleaux's Cajun Grill opens first Central Texas location in Northwest Austin; House of Pies opens in Cypress and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 8.

Hall Park building exterior
MindPath Care psychiatry practice now accepting patients in Frisco

The psychiatry practice offers telehealth and in-person visits at Hall Park.

Frisco City Council on Dec. 7 approved plans to hold a special election on Jan. 29 to elect a new member for Place 5. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
Frisco to spend more than $220K on special Jan. 29 election to fill vacant seat

Plans are set to fill the vacant seat on Frisco City Council.

six chocolate bars of varying flavors
Läderach brings Swiss chocolate to Stonebriar Centre in Frisco

Pralines, truffles and chocolate-covered popcorn are a few of the store's popular selections.

Poki Bowl plans to open in February at 16710 FM 423, Ste. 100, Frisco. (Courtesy Poki Bowl)
Poki Bowl to open in north Frisco

The quick-serve poke restaurant will let guests build bowls from white/brown rice or lettuce.

Texas Smile Co. is expected to open in December at 13355 Dallas Parkway, Ste. 400, Frisco. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Texas Smile Co. dental office to open at Panther Creek Crossing in Frisco

The dental practice is owned by Texas-native doctors Kyle and Caitlyn Poupart

The Gringo's location in Katy is pictured. A new Conroe location is planned for late 2022. (Courtesy NewQuest Properties)
CI TEXAS ROUNDUP: Gringo's restaurant confirmed for Conroe Waterfront Center; Austin’s longest-standing H-E-B to be rebuilt and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas in Texas as of Dec. 7.

meeting in progress
Denton County sees decrease in COVID-19 illness rates, increase in deaths

During the week of Nov. 29, 14 deaths related to COVID-19 were reported in the county, which brought the total to 752.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland and US Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta announced the lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6. (Screenshot courtesy of Department of Justice)
U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit alleges Texas' redistricting maps discriminate against voters of color

The suit alleges that the Texas Legislature redrew the maps to reduce voters of colors' influence on elections.

Collin County Commissioners discussed a request Dec. 6 for LifePath Systems to purchase land for a new facility. (Screenshot by Miranda Jaimes/Community Impact Newspaper)
LifePath Systems looks to expand mental health services with new McKinney facility

The property in question would be visible to law enforcement and others driving toward the jail and allow LifePath Systems to design professional office space. The intent would be to relocate all of LifePath’s crisis services to this facility.

Henry & Peters building entrance
Henry & Peters Certified Public Accountants opens office in Frisco

The office will host a ribbon cutting and open house on Jan. 6

high school lobby under construction
Attendance zones set up Frisco ISD’s newest schools

Panther Creek High School is in the midst of hiring for the campus that will open in fall 2022.