Matt About Town: It’s a little-known hive of activity on the roof of the Kennedy Center. Explore beekeeping in DC!

Beekeeping on the roof of The Kennedy Center

Did you know the roof of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in D.C. is actually a hive of buzzing activity?

In today’s episode of “Matt About Town,” WTOP’s Matt Kaufax heads up to take in the best view of D.C. and explore the art of beekeeping on the Kennedy Center roof alongside its official beekeeper, John Ferree.

If you didn’t know about the approximately 200,000 bees that call the Kennedy Center home, join the club. But if you travel past multiple security checks, into the bowels of the Kennedy Center’s ventilation room, you’ll find a set of stairs that lead to a small square opening only a few feet wide. That opening leads to the roof, and the center’s four beehives!

Matt’s beekeeping journey saw him suit up alongside Ferree — and conquer a fear of bee stings — to learn more about just how important honeybees are in our lives, and about how they ended up on top of one of D.C.’s most iconic buildings.

As Matt found out, he was in good hands with Ferree, who has an international beekeeping pedigree and has been doing what he loves for nearly 33 years.

Ferree told Matt that preservation of North America’s honeybees is a constant work in progress. That’s why he teaches classes on beekeeping, and works with the Northern Virginia Beekeeper’s Association and DC Beekeepers alliance. He said these organizations are encouraging people to take up beekeeping as a hobby and education is key in this initiative.

Ferree also makes his own honey, which was been given to many heads of state, celebrities and patrons of the arts who visit the Kennedy Center. His Kennedy Center bees can produce up to 200 pounds of honey each year, which he sells to the public in small batches at niche markets around the D.C. area.

You can get on the waitlist to purchase some of Ferree’s exclusive honey on his website.

“Matt About Town” airs every Tuesday and Thursday on WTOP at 7:45 a.m., and runs throughout the rest of the day on 103.5 FM. His video pieces are always posted on

You can also find Matt’s videos on Instagram (@wtopnews and @mkaufax) and TikTok (@wtopnews and @mattabouttown_).

If you’ve got an idea for a feature story Matt should cover, reach out via the WTOP “contact us” page to submit your idea.

You can also contact Matt directly. His contact information is listed below. 

Check out more of “Matt About Town” on WTOP.

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Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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