The mission of Spikenard Farm is to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, experience-based research and a honeybee sanctuary and to help restore the health and vitality of the honeybee worldwide.
Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary was born out of the realization that something had to be done for the honeybees and the Earth to ensure that future generations will witness this marvelous insect, so important to our life and our beautiful planet. The honeybees are much more than pollinators or honey producers. They are part of the complex living organism of the earth and integral to our development as human beings. Our vision is to inspire in young and old not only interest, joy and love, but also a new understanding and awareness for the importance of this magnificent, love-imbued, but very vulnerable creature.
Size of farm: 25 acres
Diversity of produce and livestock: Honeybees, vegetable garden, fruit, nut, pollinator trees, perennial herb gardens, flower gardens, pollinator plant nursery (greenhouse), larger cultivated lands (clover, mustards, buckwheat, etc. for the bees), mushrooms, and grains.
Skills that can be learned: See Spikenard Farm's Skills Checklist (PDF)
Apprenticeship Details: We are in the process of building up our honeybee sanctuary on 25 acres in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We have established annual and perennial bee forage, a vegetable garden, an orchard, a pollinator plant nursery, and 5 different bee hive styles. Since preparing a good environment for the bees is an important part of our sanctuary work, a great amount of the work will not be with the bees themselves (the work with them is dictated by the season and the weather), but rather with sowing, planing, creating beds, mowing, weeding, harvesting, and creating compost.
An intern will get ample opportunity to:
- Train his/her capacity of observation and thinking
- Understand the honeybees in a larger context
- Practice methods of biodynamic/sustainable beekeeping and gardening
A study of Rudolf Steiner's lectures on bees, deeper explanations of biodynamic principles and all the workshops and training sessions offered by Spikenard Farm will be part of what an intern takes with him/her. Working with and making the biodynamic preparations is part of the learning experience.
We work 5 1/2 days in the sanctuary, but many weekends have classes or other events going on in which the interns are expected to participate. The workday fluctuates between 8 and 9 hours. We are flexible, based on the needs and capacity of each individual apprentice.
What is expected of an intern:
- A strong work ethic and inner ressponsibility
- Social capacity to work together with others
- A deep interest in the bees
- An interest in biodynamic agriculture
- An interest in spiritual aspects of life and nature
- Free lodging in a double-wide trailer adjacent to the farm
- Food from the vegetable garden and orchard
- A monthly stipend of $300
Mentor Farmers: Gunther Hauk, Vivian Hauk, Alex Tuchman
Address: 445 Floyd Highway North, Floyd, VA 24091