Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary was founded in the certainty that there can be a better future for the honeybees. At this time, with Colony Collapse Disorder and a host of illnesses, mites and beetles undermining the bees' health and endangering their survival, we have to think of them as patients in the emergency room – and we must start by asking the right questions. Instead of focusing on how much honey we can get from the bees we must ask what can be done to protect, strengthen and heal them. At Spikenard we do not focus on viruses, bacteria, fungi – these are usually the symptoms of a deeper problem and only take over when an organism is weakened.
Our research is based on:
- intense observation of the honeybees' behavior, at the entrance, in the hive and out in the field
- beekeeping methods respecting the bees innate needs
- diversified plantings of annual and perennial forage, some of which must have medicinal qualities
- exploration into hive shapes supporting the bees' need for nest scent and nest warmth
- finding essential oils capable of strengthening the bees' immune system
- invigorating the landscape with biodynamic preparations
- non-invasive mite reduction methods
We have already seen substantial results: over the past 10 years, our winter losses have been between 5 and 10% – well below the national average of 33%.
It is our commitment to teach and spread understanding of the true nature of the honeybee and her innate needs in order to heal the damages we have inflicted on her with modern beekeeping methods, agricultural practices and mobile devices that have been developed over the last century.