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She likes the sweet stuff

Barbara Ochterski has created quite a buzz in her neighborhood just outside East Aurora since she retired five years ago as head of school at Sacred Heart Academy. She has since put up three beehives on her 1-acre property along South Herrick Road – and her neighbors couldn’t be more pleased. She shares her honey with them.

Ochterski, 69, and her bees were practically swimming in product last year. The warm spring helped yield 388 pounds of honey. At 1 p.m. today, she will talk at the Honeybee Festival, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens in South Park; for more info, visit

What are the health benefits of eating honey?

It’s a pure, unadulterated food. It’s the essence of organic.

What are some of the foods you enjoy topping with honey?

It makes a wonderful barbecue sauce. On salmon it would be used, sometimes lamb chops. … I make a honey butter or a cream cheese- honey mix that’s really good on bagels. The other kind of little secret that I’ve found is that I’ll put perhaps a tablespoon of honey when I’m cooking a strong vegetable like kale or collards, cabbage … I put it in spaghetti sauce as well. It mitigates some of that bitter taste out of stronger vegetables.

– Scott Scanlon