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

  • Expectations and the truth of life Expectations are such a double edged sword. You have to have them since that’s what keeps us looking ahead, but it is so difficult when fate intervenes and alters our plans. I became a beekeeper quite suddenly around this time last fall when a dear friend of mine, a brother, gave me two colonies of honey ...
  • to everything there is a season For a long time I have been curious about the bees. I was struck by their beauty and the way they worked so harmoniously and efficiently together. The great thing about being a filmmaker is that when you get interested in something, and want to learn more about it, you can make a film. I ...
  • Nectar and Pollen Plants of the Champlain Valley, Vermont, a new blog The incredible miracle of the bees’ work On a very hot summer day you can observe the worker bees at the hive entrance fanning their wings to keep the hive at the necessary temperature – 90-97 degrees Fahrenheit — for raising brood, as well as to evaporate the water from the nectar to help turn it ...
  • the new honey crop is in ! Wherever you go, the land tells a story. The early honey is darker this year. Some feel it is because the bees did not get nectar from the basswood tree flowers, which would have made the honey lighter. This is a result of weather and timing of nature. Where there are bees and pollinating insects, more ...
  • What do the plants teach us? Plants are an endless source of wisdom. They are my most patient as well as most persistent teachers. 99% of all living organisms on this planet are plants! That number always astounds me, and I am reminded of our most basic relationship with the plant world. Our constant exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide ensures our ...