Sep 25, 2017

Developing the Children's Program--Summer Report

Dear Friends,

With the Bee Barn almost completed (only 40K left to finish the 776K project!), we can take long strides into our programs for children.  With the school year just getting underway, we have been able to function in the unfinished building by offering three new programs for children:

1. After school program for boys--Called Ridgelines, this program is for boys 12-15 to participate and contribute to a culture of health and service with mentors in the outdoors during their transition from childhood into adolescence.  The pilot session of this program begins Sept 28 and goes 11 weeks through the school year.  


2. Early childhood experience at the Sanctuary--Spikenard was approached by a local group of mothers with children ages 3-7 with an interest of bringing the children into the healing environment of the Sanctuary and offering a play-group program.  This program will begin October 11th and will extend to the New Year.  


3. Waldorf class visits--Our partnership with Waldorf schools continues to flourish with the new building, giving us the proper space to host schools for 3-day trips throughout the Fall and coming Spring.  Last week, we had a group of 5th graders from Richmond Waldorf School for a wonderful program that included all the benefits of experiential learning in the honeybee Sanctuary.

These are just the beginnings of what is possible for our Children's program at the Sanctuary.  The success so far, and the tranformative experiences that we have witnessed give us strength and hope to continue this work into the future.  

Thank you so much for your continued support of the Sanctuary and all of our work, not just for the children, but also for the bees and the land and the community of beekeepers.

All the best,



Jun 15, 2017

Honoring the plants that serve our pollinators

Dear Friends,

Spring is here, and we're working to do all that we can to help promote the pollinators and the plants that serve them.  This impetus includes:

  • Research-  We continue to expand our plant inventory and eperimental plots with new cultivars to see what will give the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators the best sources of nectar and pollen.  This year we are experimenting with Sida hermaphrodite, various varieties of Salvia, Vitex, and more.  
  • Outreach- A series of talks will be given by Program Director, Alex Tuchman, this month in Colfax, NC, spreading knowledge and insights of how to create a pollinator sactuary to interested beekeepers and gardeners in the region. 
  • Writing - In March, Founder of Spikenard, Gunther Hauk, republished his book Towards Saving the Honeybee with an updated chapter on bee forage to increase awareness and education on what can be planted for the bees, and how landscapes can be managed.
  • Events - Spikenard is celebrating it's second annual Dandelion Day, raising awareness about this important flower for the bees, the butterflies, and the ruby-throated hummingbird, as we give tours, dandelion-themed snacks, and education about the important of the pollinators and the honeybees and their favorite spring treat--the dandelion.  

Wishing you a beautiful Spring!  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or for information on how to get involved.

Jan 19, 2017

Innovative Hive Shapes for the Bees

   For several years, Spikenard has been working to develop alternatives to the standard Langstroth hives, which work nicely to the benefit of man, but can also serve to undermine the health and vitality of the honeybee organism. Hives in round forms have proven to be beneficial nesting sites for the honeybees for thousands of years, up to the present when they have the potential to serve to help the honeybees cope with diseases, parasite pressure, and climate change. We have now developed a round hive type (still needs a catchy name!) that offers the bees the environment they can thrive in without compromising the beekeepers ability to care for and harvest from the colony. We would like to produce more of these hives to offer for sale to the general public, as well as teach others how to make their own.

   We propose a new class-offering in the fall of 2017 to do so, but would need funding to help support the continued development of a scalable production model, including the materials needed to teach our methods in a hands-on workshop to the general public.

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