Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!

by Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary
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Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Saving the honeybee one beekeeper at a time!
Jan 31, 2020

The Start of A New Decade


Dear Friends,

Another wonderful year of growth! The highlights of our expansion include the purchase of more land (we now have 40.520 acres), and the hiring of two staff members on the team: Agatha Hannah, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator & Anthea van Geloven, Gardener/ Farmer. We are grateful for their contributions and are excited to continue our work together into the future. With the Bee Barn now standing in a triangle with the pavilion and bath house, we have been able to connect a solar panel array that serves these buildings and helps to connect us to renewable energy.


The theme of this year was undoubtedly “the mysteries of the queen,” with a season unique in character in many ways, including the incredible prolif- eration of Queen Anne’s Lace in the landscape, and the interesting activities of the queens in the apiary. The queen is a central organ in the hive that the beekeeper must always attend to. In a normal situation, this simply means saying hello, making sure there is a good brood pattern, and that a sense of rightness and calm is pervading the beehive. But in some occasions the beekeeper has to help the colony to reinstate harmony in the process of establishing a new queen. ese are great opportunities for us to go more deeply into understanding the life and nature of the queen. e fruits of these studies are always shared in our workshops, classes, and public lectures, where we oen nd other beekeepers who have corollary experiences in their apiaries!

We have had an excellent season with no losses, and the diligent work of the bees and the owers has leus with delicious surplus honey. In late summer we were able to taste a very special oral “mint-honey”- the bees have been able to really fill up on our plantings, especially the short-toothed mountain mint (pycanthemum muticum). The black locust, tulip poplar and fruit trees gave a huge nectar flow this Spring, and our bottomland fields provided crimson clover, yellow sweet clover, yellow mustard, and buckwheat all summer long. The roses, mountain mint, and boneset were the highlights of the year in the ower gardens and perennial meadow.

Our first full season of workshops in the new Bee Barn has proved the worth of this functional and beautiful building. anks to the Scholarship Fund (and those who contributed to it!), we have been able to lessen the financial barriers for people to come to Spikenard and experience a rich learning environment. This financial support, paired with a great interest in our programs, helped to bring students to attend our successful and inwardly fullling workshops.

The highlights in this year’s educational programs were the Waldorf Week Workshop for teachers, the Summer Festival, Mentorship Program and the graduation of the 6th two-year Spikenard Biodynamic Beekeeper Training. This special group of committed individuals not only demonstrated a deep devotion to the honeybee, but have also practically taken up the work in service of the honeybee in their own communities, near and far. In graduating the two-year training, they also become eligible to join the Mentorship Program—a group of ambassadors for the honeybee who come to Spikenard each year in order to continue to deepen their work together as colleagues, and build a movement that helps to represent and teach these beekeeping methods across the country and across the globe.

Every year that we share with the bees gives us a new opportunity to deepen our understanding of these complex and mysterious creatures. We can hold the imagination of a goddess with many faces, whom we might call e Great Bee. With each new cycle of the seasons we meet a new aspect, continuing to add depth, color, and an ever-growing picture of how the Great Bee manifests herself on earth. What’s more, every individual hive brings a unique expression of honeybee wisdom to life, and allows us, as their supportive care-takers, to learn more and more about how to best serve their needs. Spikenard beekeeping strives for practices that respect each individual hive and can help us evolve with the honeybees into the future.

We have been so blessed to have had the opportunity to carry out this important work and research, year after year, staying close and awake to what the apiary is showing us, now for 10 years. And all this only because of the trust and support of Spikenard’s Community of donors, volunteers and friends who participate with interest to assist and strengthen our mission.

We cannot be too timid to let you know that for this work, we strongly rely on your warm-hearted, loving, generous support.

The board of directors and the staff thank you wholeheartedly for your trust and help over these years, and once again, we kindly ask you to consider making a generous gift to Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary.

Along with sincere wishes for inner strength and a deeply satisfying, joyful winter season, we send warm regards to you,

Alex Tuchman



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Organization Information

Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary

Location: Floyd, VA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Spikenard Farm
Project Leader:
Alex Tuchman
Floyd, VA United States
$3,927 raised of $20,000 goal
126 donations
$16,073 to go
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