Jan 19, 2016

Launching our Children's Program at the Sanctuary

Dear Friends,

Blessings on the New Year!

It's truly encouraging to look back on 2015 and see all that we've accomplished at the Sanctuary.  The land is continuing to transform into a place of healing and beauty, the community of students and visitors continues to thrive and grow, and the relevance and importance of laboring in honor of the honeybee is ever more significant. 

We are so excited to share with you our plans for the new Children's Program, which has been moving forward bit by bit each year, but is now ready to open it's wings and catch the wind!  Our partnerships with regional Waldorf schools and local schools in the past year has given us great inspiration and a strong will to continue to provide experiences for children to engage with nature in a new way. 

Our curriculum includes a basic lesson on the bees, their role in nature and their importance; hands-on experience in the flower gardens; and opening a bee hive and observing the complex and mysterious workings of the honeybee, followed by questions and discussion.  These components weave together beautifully as the Sanctuary spaces embrace the children into a vibrant landscape that we've created with care and conscious thought. 

In 2016, we will be reaching out to make partnerships with new schools locally and regionally, and in order to support the transportation costs, food expenses, garden supplies, and art supplies, we're asking for your help!

We so appreciate all of you who have been with us these years and who continue to support our work. Weaving more and more children into what we can offer at Spikenard is a great and much needed step for our future. 

In gratitude and joy,

Alex

Oct 20, 2015

Built on a foundation of inspiration

Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary is founded on inspiration. We are inspired to action in service of the ailing honeybee, and through our devotion to honoring the bee’s needs, we’ve become inspired to teach. And we remain inspired each time we go to the hives, because we’re always learning something new! We find it so interesting, and a bit surprising, that we had 3 swarms this September, and one already in October! We’ve had the opportunity to use our recently invented saying: “A swarm in October…I must not be sober!” Swarming this late in the season might be coldly interpreted as suicide (no nectar, no time to build wax, no way they can survive!), but we are of a different mindset. We see that all of the hives are interconnected through the river of wisdom flowing down to them from the Great Bee—the spirit that guides the work of the bees on Earth. In this wisdom, the bees can act in very creative ways as they learn, grow, and adapt to the ever-changing world around them.


We’ve come to see the bees as a barometer—they are in tune with the environment around them in every way. Facing changes in climate, in human consciousness, in all that we invent with our industrious creativity, and so much more—the crisis of the honeybee has taught us that she is sensitive and affected by all that goes on in the environment. In our relationship to the bees, noticing the subtle changes are what can truly give insight for better survival. The bees teach us to relearn the rhythms of nature and to tune ourselves into the unity of the environment around us once more. In our teachings at Spikenard, we honor their wisdom as a guide that is shining the light into the modern darkness that we face in the world today.


The times we are living call us to continually renew and re-enliven our relationships with nature and with each-other. We need to look deeply into nature for inspiration, allowing the mysteries and rhythmic dance of nature’s relationships to inspire in us the will to carry our torch forward and let it shine into the darkness that can fill the outer world, as well as our inner being. In this striving, we align ourselves with the cosmic purpose of the honeybee—in service of nature and humanity!


As we ponder the mystery of these late-season swarms, it makes clear the invaluable role that the consciousness of beekeepers play in keeping the honeybees alive through this crisis. We have to become just as sensitive to the environment around us, and cultivate the proper attitude in order to truly follow the guidance of the honeybee. They need us to break out of our conventional modes of thinking and find love, joy, and creativity in an October swarm. In doing so, we can form the proper relationship with our hives and utilize this impulse from the bees as a means to strengthen the health and vitality of the apiary. In the meanwhile, we’ve been transformed by an inner revolution!

Links:

Jul 31, 2015

The gift of the honeybee crisis

Dear Supporters and Friends,

It's high-Summer and the flowers at the Sanctuary are creating a buzz of joy, excitement, beauty, and sweetness that is apparent for all to see.  Our honeybees are thriving, and it is with deep gratitude and thanks for your support that we are able to continue our work towards saving the honeybee.

With our beekeeping workshops filled, a 97% survival rate of colonies this past year, and a growing capacity to understand the needs of the honeybee, we feel so blessed.  The needs of the honeybee are increasing with time, and our ability to address the current honeybee crisis needs to by looked at with increased creativity, sensistivity, and respect.  The true gift of this crisis is that we can now see what we must do: we MUST change our ways. For all of us, there is no other choice.

This past year, roughly 43% of America's bee colonies collapsed--a fact that saddens our hearts more than any other.  Without the bees, we have no future.  Beekeepers are up against tough odds: pesticides, insecticides, neonicotinoids, habitat loss, the varroa mite...the list goes on and keeps growing.  We really feel for those beekeepers who have had such terrible losses over the past years.  These losses cannot be sustained by the beekeepers--there are more and more going out of business because of bakruptcy.  The outlook for professional beekeeping seems to have a bleak future.

But the future is coming towards us, ripe with opportunity for change.  While the external pressures that beekeepers face call for a creative engagement with the community, the most important call to heed is our own internal attitude.  Right now, we need to change beekeeping methods more than anything else. And that is why Spikenard Farm is here.

As we write to you in the heat of Summer, we continue to look forward to opportunities to host more school groups, workshops, give public lectures, make political amendments to business-as-usual, and advocate sustainable beekeeping far and wide.  Our methods are working, our students are becoming leaders, and we need more and more people to join us and help move this work forward! 

All of these activities would not be possible without your help!  So we thank you so much for your continued support of our work.

In gratitude,

Alex

 
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