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

  • rhythms of healing Last week Tim and I drove north about 30 minutes to Fairfax VT, home of the Vermont Food Venture Center. The VFVC is a non-profit shared-use kitchen for local producers to create their products. There is an entrepreneurial spirit in this area which keeps the kitchens busy. We use the industrial-sized mixers, kettles and bottlers ...
  • the work of harvesting honey, preservation of farm land The work of harvesting honey is a meditation. Every season we look forward to the physical stresses of gathering honey day after day, and the pushing of physical limits allows the mind to open up. Today I am thinking again about my connection with the beekeepers of over 600 years ago as they celebrated the ...
  • balance & equalize …… and the flow is on Lake Champlain Valley, Vermont June 21, 2005 Today we celebrate the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. At this time, the queen bee will lay the most eggs of the season, this being determined by the number of sunny minutes of the day. Her cycle is in tune with nature and the coming honey flow, ...
  • the most recent action above the Blue Savannah Swamp Spring 2005, Marion County, South Carolina In the late 1700’s Francis Marion, known as the legendary “Swamp Fox” of the Revolutionary War, came to this field high above the Blue Savannah Swamp. He and his troops surprised a much larger contingent of British solders, fired on them with their limited rounds, and then slipped back into ...
  • healing plants of Maine In early September, I made my way to the coast of Maine to connect with the hard working harvesters of the land and sea and to gather together some of the healing ingredients that go into our plant medicine. The most important part of my journey was meeting the spirited people who provide us with ...