The Girls

Bees aren’t new on the farm — man oh man, do we have a thriving population of wild bees of all sorts! But honeybees, those gals are newcomers for sure. We added two hives to our little farm in the forest this past summer, with plans to expand by another two hives this coming spring.

The bees live in these posh painted hives at the foot of the market garden.

We care for them using sustainable methods, which include constant visual and lard-board mite checks, as well as frequent treatments with powdered sugar. This technique causes the bees to groom each other to get the sugar off, which supports mite drop.

Sugary gal (Danya Smith photo)

We love the energy and life the bees bring to our market garden, and we’re enjoying the challenge of planting the best nectar sources for them. They can be tempted by neonic-treated canola fields nearby, which cause them great harm, so we’re trying to learn which natural sources will entice them away from the chemical snacks.

Sugaring the gals on a calm day (Danya Smith photo)

Not only do the bees bring great energy to our garden, but we really enjoy the added benefits of their honey and wax. The candles are especially welcome in our off-grid cabin.

Mmm, honey straight from the comb!

Fragrant beeswax candles

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