honey bees

Honey bees on the farm will pollinate our flowers.  Todd began a relationship with honey bees over 50 years when he and his brother Tom, 9 years old, bought their first hive for their family farm. They were enchanted by how industrious the bees were, giving them honey, pollen, propolis and beeswax for candles and salve. Around 40% of what is eaten is pollinated by insects, this to a great degree by honey bees. Because there are so few nectar & pollen plants on Thornhill Farm, we are planting these plants for the bees. We know the soil is worn out on the farm because our honey bees make so little honey. This is why we have pigs. When the forest is cleared, we do not burn the wood that is left behind, but chip it and mix these wood chips with manure and fungus mycelium to make piles of compost to improve the soil. Last summer we grew peas and oats as a green manure crop, and the pea flowers gave voluminous amounts of nectar to the honey bees and pollinating insects.


writings & images about the honey bees of Thornhill Farm


Live from the Hive by Annie Watson – Winter 1997 to July 2015 archives

  • Honey Bee Economics The humble honey bee. This singing whir of golden hue embodies unselfishness and unconditional love. Small and unassuming, this insect offers us numerous opportunities to learn from the collective intelligence of its society. By examining the honey bee’s example, we find clues to how we might approach the work of bringing forth a new and ...
  • Going to the Farmer’s Market After many sunny Saturdays (and a few very chilly ones) in Burlington City Hall Park, the 2008 summer Farmers’ Market has come to an end. The Halloween costumes came out for the last one; there were little lions and tigers and bears galore. We were even fortunate enough to meet a family of bee keepers ...
  • harvest and the abundance of the land Across the land, beekeepers are now bringing their honey to the honey house for extracting. One of the miracles of working on the land and with the bees took place again this year. A lot of honey came in the last few days. We saw it in our own bees: right into last week, the ...
  • Excerpt from a beekeeper’s journal, the wheel of the bee season Beekeeping has taken my connection to the land to a much deeper level. At this, the end of my second full season as a backyard beekeeper, I pause to appreciate the gift the bees have brought me: the gift of connection to the great wheel of life. Over the course of the spring and summer, I ...
  • elderberries, Russian queens and the lusciousness of summer To speak about the elderberries, this Saturday July 16 @ 10 AM we are honored to welcome Lewis Hill, Greensboro, Vermont and Denis Charlebois, St-Jean-sur-Richleau, Quebec, Agriculture Canada to our honey house on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh. Lewis and Nancy Hill are authors of many books on gardening and plants. As friends of Honey Gardens over ...