Late Spring 2012 We can honestly say that we have never experienced a Spring like this one! It seems as if nature wanted to demonstrate an exuberance

late spring
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Late Spring 2012

We can honestly say that we have never experienced a Spring like this one! It seems as if nature wanted to demonstrate an exuberance of vitality and beauty, as if to capture our attention and imagination, or just to let us know that she is willing to give freely without having to be forced and beaten. It has been the most unusual year in regards to swarming. It started the second week in April, and we are still getting swarms – 20 so far. Not only conditions on Earth – weather, nectar flow, and available space – determine whether a hive swarms. The colony is very much influenced by the rhythms of the Sun, Moon and planets. We wonder if this year’s special relationship of Venus with the Sun had an influence on the prolific swarming. Above is an inside look at Agape, one of our Warre hives – the Warre hives have been the most active in producing swarms this spring. Usually the first honeycomb built by a swarm is pure white, however, this year we saw an intense yellow in a week-old comb as you can see in the photo below.

Bees are completely open to this influence of Venus and develop this love life throughout the entire colony… (page 2 from “Bees” by Rudolf Steiner)

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We've never seen this color in new comb before.

 
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One of this year’s swarms - catching some is easy, while others are a challenge.

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The Service of the Bees

The honeybee is a creature of service to the highest possible degree, i.e., even at the cost of the colony’s own health. If the honey stores abound and, at the same time, there is a field of flowers to pollinate and gather nectar from, the bees just don’t slow down. They bring in more and more, filling the cells with nectar to the point that the queen doesn’t have honeycomb to lay eggs in. This is called ‘a hive is honey-bound’. It even endangers the future of the colony. But serving nature is an inner necessity.

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We thought that the bees did not visit the azaleas, but this year we were surprised to see an abundance of bees on a patch of white azalea. They seemed to collect both pollen and nectar.

When health prevails, vitality pervades both mind and body. By the process of loving service, you can become the promoters of much joy. Do not consider any act of service as demeaning! - Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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Our Worker Bees

We are so grateful for the many people that give their time and effort to the sanctuary. From our staff to our interns and volunteers we couldn’t get everything done without them. Our first spring intern – Summer White - was indeed a joy to have out at the farm this year. She came all the way from Olympia in Washington as part of her college curriculum. Her presence was a blessing for the bees and for all of us. We hope she will have her own bees very soon.

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After a hard days work, we enjoyed the Floyd Country Store Jamboree.

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We are so grateful and fortunate to have Jane with us this season as sanctuary assistant. The garden is absolutely beautiful.

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Spikenard Farm’s mission is to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, research and the honeybee sanctuary, where people can experience a beautiful landscape in which honeybees and other pollinators can live, heal and thrive.

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Events & Happenings

Our workshops & events are at the heart of our mission and this spring we have been blessed to participate in so many wonderful initiatives working towards healing the earth. Our workshops have been very well attended and it is always with joy and gratitude that we receive so many people who are dedicated to sustainable, biodynamic beekeeping methods.

Here’s a brief look at what we’ve been up to:

For our latest event, we traveled to Hillsborough, North Carolina. The first night was a Queen of the Sun screening in the Barn at Valhalla and the next day a workshop at Infinity Farm. We thank Joy very much for organizing this for Spikenard Farm.
This year we are participating in the Floyd Artisan Trail Tour. For more information about this even please visit http://www.floydartisantrail.org
We enjoyed a two-day visit from the Richmond Waldorf School. They built a new bed in the perennial garden and helped with other tasks.
Spikenard Farm delivered sustainable biodynamic beekeeping lectures to several regional beekeeping clubs this spring including the Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers
Monday! Monday! Open House days in May were a big success providing an opportunity for local folks and travelers in the area to stop by the sanctuary and commune with the bees.
Participated in Sustain Blacksburg’s spring event where we hosted a table-top and presented an educational talk about the bees.
Educational Workshop in Floyd – Expanding the Apiary Naturally
Table-top and educational talk at Land's Sake event in Floyd
Educational Workshop in Floyd – Towards Saving the Honeybee
Movie screening and lecture at Hollins College in Roanoke
Table-top and movie screening at Grandin Theater during Roanoke's Earth Day
Workshop and movie screening at the Virginia Living Museum
Educational Workshop in Floyd - Introduction to Beekeeping

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Spikenard Farm – A Rising Star!

We are getting accustomed to film crews at the sanctuary. Our work here in Floyd continues to garner national attention – hopefully all of the good press will help raise awareness of the bees. Last year we were interviewed by Tractor Supply Company and are pleased to announce that we are currently featured in their May issue of 'Out Here' magazine. We also hosted a film crew from the ‘Do Something Reel’ Film Festival and ‘Queen of The Sun’ promotion sponsored by Whole Foods’ Market out at the farm. They shot some wonderful footage of the bees and farm and interviewed us for a marketing piece that will help promote the festival.

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Volunteer/Open Door Day

Volunteer/Open Door Day at the Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary is a wonderful opportunity to experience the bees and the beautiful landscape and serenity of the Blue Ridge Mountains while donating your time working with us on the flowerbeds and landscaping tasks out at the farm. There is much work to do to create a healing landscape for the bees and we are grateful for any helping hands. For more information about this event please visit our website.

Next volunteer dates are: July 21 August 11 or September 15

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