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

  • the cross pollination of life In the early days of Spring, we visited the bees as the last patches of snow lingered throughout the land. Choruses of frogs sang for weeks, as waves of red maples were lighting up the hills, signaling the end of maple sugaring and also the beginning of the flight of honey bees as they gather ...
  • Health & the Hive: A Beekeeper’s Journey Environmental filmmaker Jan Cannon has spent many days of the last two years with the crew of Honey Gardens, in the field with the bees, moving through the seasons with the bees, filming as we were making plant medicine, talking with and gathering footage of our team of queen breeders, bee venom therapist, vegetable and ...
  • The Common Language of Agriculture The name of the Mapuche community was first given to me by Facundo, the gaucho with whom I had just spent a month and half riding across Argentina with, over 800 miles in 40 days. I wrote to the community leader, the shaman, to ask if I could come spend a week or so with ...
  • The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. We are having a gathering here on Saturday January 19, and we invite you to join us. The winter meeting of the Champlain Valley Honey Bee Cooperative is at 4:30 PM at the honey house, with a pot blessing dinner at 5 PM, and at 6 PM Ross Conrad will speak on the subject of ...
  • our youth as the next caretakers of the honey bees While I have only logged a few hours with the bees at the hives in my young beekeeping career, my entire understanding of bees and everything that has to do with them is growing exponentially. Before walking into Honey Gardens this summer, simply looking for a summer job, I knew very little about bees and ...