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.


 Health & the Hive: A Beekeeper’s Journey

A Jan Cannon Film that explores the importance of honeybees in our lives through the seasons of Honey Gardens Apiaries, Todd and the team. Topics addressed in the film include pollination, queen breeding, disease control, bee venom therapy, organic agriculture and honey-based plant medicine. 53 minute dvd. $10 + $4 (shipping).
to order, send a check to: 198 Taylor Road, Greensboro Bend, Vermont 05842


writings & images about the honey bees of Thornhill Farm


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

  • a life with honey in the kitchen Growing up I spent my summers with my Grandparents in a small coastal town in Northumbria, set on the Eastern border of England and Scotland. During that time, my Grandfather taught me beekeeping- he had ten hives he tended, while my Grandmother would grow a vast variety of fruits and vegetables in the garden- leeks, ...
  • petit train va loin/the little train goes far what I learned from the bees (#2) – the tortoise and the hare Most of the honey bees in a hive are workers that go through a series of jobs that support the family with every chore necessary for the continuity of the family. On some days, they will be gathering nectar, propolis and pollen, and ...
  • working at the honey house… The flowers of five months of the cool, northern summer have passed and only a few yellow goldenrod and purple aster plants color the countryside. The work of the beekeepers is now to gather and extract the crop. For many beekeepers, the bees made a crop at the very end of the season. In the ...
  • What I learned from the bees (# 1 in a series) The new crops of northern honey are in ! We are now sharing Apitherapy raw honey from this region and blueberry honey from Maine. After almost three months of rain, the First Fruits of the new crops are in the honey house, and we are grateful to be able to send this delicious honey to ...
  • Ancient and Present Super Foods Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. With this thought, many people are discovering super-foods. Super foods contain highly concentrated nutritional and healing compounds. Many feel these potent foods are our best immune and emotional shield, in a rapidly changing world, that finds us far from a natural balance. Around the world people are on the ...