I am relatively new to the area and interested in developing a self-sustaining life style to include gardens, orchards, vineyards and the bees to support the required pollination, not to mention the honey. I attended their introductory course which provided lots of confidence-building information and insight into the project. The staff and their farm are a treasure trove of resources for the beginner. I look forward to attending their top bar class later in the month.
Attended a one-day workshop held in the beginning of March. Both my husband and I are very new to beekeeping, and the speakers were incredibly good, approachable, and made the day very much worthwhile. The content went into much greater detail than I expected (and was very happy for the level of detail, particularly when addressing questions). They covered one particular type of hive to walk us through the course, but explained why and how other hives can be used, along with general pros/cons to consider. The tour was phenomenal, particularly in seeing how different hive types are used and maintained. Overall, a wonderful and informative group!
Spikenard Farms is a remarkable commitment to saving the honeybee. It is a sanctuary and an active learning center for others who may wish to join in this crucial endeavor. The honeybees and their stewards at Spikenard teach us of the wholeness and unity of God's created world. And it informs me of my place among the other of His creations.
Learning of the life and care of the honeybee represents a seamless blend of human aspiration: the laws of biological and physical science, the intangible interconnecting life energies, the spiritual force [God] that has engendered all.
A conservationist's dream come true! Beautiful venue, dedicated and knowledgeable people, fabulous horticulture-all promoting, fostering and sustaining the honeybee.
Beautiful, spiritual place dedicated not only to the health of honeybees, but to educating and helping to heal the world as a whole. I participated in the week long work study and left with a desire to share everything I had learned.
Spikenard Sanctuary is an excellent place where very nurturing people are totally devoted to the honeybee and its survival. They are very welcoming and are willing to share very good information about bees and sustainability .
Spikenard is a place with deep roots, spiritual and practical, balanced between earth and heaven, on the top of a mountain, serving the bees and serving humanity, in our time of need. Their respect for, honoring of, and healing of the bees is grounded and based in specific, meticulous, careful observation of each hive and their interaction with their environment. Their attention and care extends to the environment. The biodynamic principles used in tending the land will have far-reaching impact long into the future. Spikenard is a place where humanity strives to support the good of the earth and of humanity. Our participation is necessary.
I was drawn to Spikenard because I knew there was more to beekeeping than feeding them sugar water and harvesting honey. I wanted to be a steward to the bees and I learned this from Gunther, Vivian and Alex. I learned more than I anticipated about bees during my two year training. I come back every year to learn more. What a rejuvenating experience it is to return to Spikenard Sanctuary. Biodynamics is about how we can heal and improve the earth and it's creatures. You must come to Spikenard even if you are not a beekeeper.
I am continually amazed at the depth of what I learn in the presence of Gunther, Vivian and Alex. The depth of my understanding of the needs of the honey bee has transformed how I steward my bees and resulted in my bees continuing to be strong and healthy. I went to study with them thinking I would only come away with a better understanding of the honey bees and instead I have grown in my understanding of the needs of the earth, the plants the animals the pollinators and the human being. I will continue to return to deepen my understanding.
I have had the great fortune and honor to visit Spikenard over the last two years attending the Sustainable Biodynamic Bee Keeping Training. At first glance, most people are in awe and so moved by the beauty of the site. Visitors and students are greeted by loving and open caregivers and stewards. People know they are truly welcomed to share in their common love for honeybees and nature. The element that comes thirdly is the tremendous integrity and deep deep commitment to put honey bee welfare first. The exploitation of this incredible creature goes back through our time.. New environmental pressures and current beekeeping practices are creating a situation that is dire. Spikenard is a small place but its strength is mighty and the goodness and knowledge radiating out is changing people lives as they work towards creating hope for the future of our honeybee friends. It is a true partnership with the bees. Spikenard walks the talk. Its beekeeping practices have come through active participation over many years by its founders but there are also elements of research and study which propels it forward to meet our changing times.
Salute, and may we all rise to the challenges ahead with loving hearts, clear heads and willing joined hands !
As a graduate of the first 2-year beekeeping program at Spikenard, I am continually impressed by the depth and breadth of the learning every time I visit this special place. The love and care that goes in to the Sanctuary, and all that it offers for people, plants and pollinators, is extraordinary. The atmosphere in classes is spacious, the scenery spectacular, the food nourishing, and the teaching outstanding. Gunther, Vivian, Alex and interns work tirelessly to support the honeybee, create beauty, and heal the land.
Absolutely wonderful place. I have been following this sanctuary for several years. I admire their dedication to a honeybee. I believe biodynamic beekeeping is a way to save honey bee. I am excited how many people they taught and affected via educational materials - videos, books, classes etc.
I attended a class at Spikenard and it was incredible!!! Gunther, Vivian and Alex were down to earth, kind instructors. I would recommend a visit to Spikenard for anyone interested in beekeeping, biodynamics, genuine people or beautiful scenery.
Cutting edge insight into saving the honey bee. Husband, son and I took a short beekeeping course with Gunther years ago. Have been following this good work since.
It's not easy finding someone to teach a beekeeper how to work with the bees responsibly, sustainably. Spikenard fills that niche with their warm and expert trainings. Spikenard is not static in its methods, for they are constantly evolving to help not just the honeybee, but the humans, animals, plants and the earth itself with the recognition that what affects one affects all others. I completed the two year Sustainable Beekeeping training and I return every year for workshops to learn more. I'm grateful for Gunther, Vivian, Alex and everyone at Spikenard. They help keep my hopes alive for a healing planet.
The classes offered at Spikenard are transformational. I went there to learn about bees. I left having learned about healing Earth, Soul, and Spirit. And the stewardship of bees, too, of course.
Four years ago I made a decision that would change how I think about life. I decided to become a beekeeper. Quite by accident I discovered there was a Bee Sanctuary in Virginia! Needless to say, I have taken several classes & visited Spikenard Farm many times for help and advise. To say I'm impressed with their philosophy is an understatement, they are so commented to doing their part & teaching others the importance of bees in our eco system. The staff & ongoing work with biodynamics in beekeeping have helped me so greatly which in turn helps me pass it on to my family & children. Thanks for the heartwarming work you do at Spikenard Farm.
Spikenard Bee Sanctuary is a holy place. There is an amazing amount of love, wisdom, understanding and insight that the stewards, working there, have to share. Treating bees and the earth with reverence, and gratitude is the example they set. Learning how to keep bees in a bee-centric way, is of utmost importance in these times and this training goes beyond natural/organic methods. I will be forever changed from spending two years in the Sustainable Biodynamic Beekeeper Training at Spikenard.
This is a very special place where one can experience what it really is like to partner with nature, and here of course, especially the honeybee. Students taking courses at the sanctuary can learn about the intricate relationships between humans, animals and plants through practicing sustainable methods and respecting the earth and all who live upon it. For those who want to become sustainable beekeepers, in my opinion, there is no better place to learn, having the chance for hands-on experience under some of the most knowledgeable mentors and with many different types of hives. Even for those who may be more interested in just gardening or garden design, the farm is a wonderful showcase of what types of plants attract bees and native pollinators.