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 dance of the seasons continues… The dance of the seasons continues, and snow is on the ground in northern Vermont. At the end of this growing season, I think about what great grandfather Thomas told us as he reflected on his life as a farmer, “The best fertilizer is always the imprint of the owner’s feet.” There are so many ...
  • The Road to Rejuvenation the honey house to Washington County, Maine May 1999 We brought our bees to the blueberry barrens of Cherryfield, Maine. When the bees pollinate the blueberry flowers, the fruit crop is increased around 300% compared to relying on just the wild bees and other insects for pollination. When this land is cleared, the blueberry crop comes up ...
  • elderberry for colds, flu, building the immunity system Elderberry is older than our country. It has long been used traditionally when a cold or flu comes as it helps to build up the immunity system in our bodies. This may assist in reducing the symptoms and hastening recovery. Elderberry may help to fight some viruses that chemical medicals do not work on, and this ...
  • invasive species by Tim McFarlin Invasive Species! This phrase may bring to mind hordes of magenta spiked Loosestrife marauding their way through our northeastern wetlands or perhaps it’s the choking assault of the Kudzu in the south. Our landscape is thoroughly inundated with non-native species and growing by the year. Honey bees were brought to the Americas in ...
  • Summer of Honey I had a hunch about what’s inside those white boxes you sometimes see along rural back roads. They always seemed to stand silently as I sped from errand to errand, along the roads I drove to get me off the busier highways. My summer experience at Honey Gardens Apiaries was just that “getting off the busier ...