June 18, 2014

Spikenard Farm, Honeybee Sanctuary 6.10.14

When we got back from our walk yesterday…Babe (our Lovebird) had died. She and Raisin had survived a sinking of our boat and multiple trips to NY and VT as well as several trips aboard the boat…some as long as a month. Perhaps she missed Raisin. She was over 10, but it was still unsettling to have them pass away 3 days apart.

We buried her at Jo Anne’s.

Today we are visiting the Spikenard Honeybee Sanctuary.


They have many kinds of bee hives….Top Bars….


Honey Comb shaped hives…..


Langstroth  hives…..


There are even a few Warre Hives mixed in.


Their mission is"” to promote sustainable and biodynamic beekeeping through education, research”, where people can learn to help care for and plant for Honey Bees. They give classes for hive management without drugs.

They are testing different styles of hive and even ways to keep them. The hive entrances are on the far side.


They have several water spots for the bees…this is just a large ornamental basin with rocks for the bees to sit on so they don’t drown.


They even have chickens…I like the screen door for ventilation and the low  roof over the entrance. Looks like it would keep rain and snow out.


They have some beautiful gardens and most of them had Milkweed planted in them for the butterflies.


They gave us a great tour…Jo Anne took lots of notes on what to plant and how to plant for the bees and butterflies.


They had a beautiful garden…look at how well this butterfly blends with the sunflower.


I was very pleased to see there are a lot of others out there who want to keep Honey Bees treatment free. I am trying to do the same. I use no pesticides or herbicides on my yard…needless to say…I have lots of flowering weeds for the bees. I try to plant a lot of native flowers but do plant bushes that produce a lot of flowers for them.

It was well worth the trip to Spikenard’s. We really enjoyed it. Cant wait to get home and see my bees. I caught a swarm 2 days before we left and put it in my Top Bar Hive. My neighbor says they are still there.

Rocky Knob, VA on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 6.9.14

Babe, our Lovebird, didn’t act up to par this morning so I heated up her thermos (no stopper so it heats the cover) and put it under her blanket. Put some meds in her water.

Jo Anne showed up and we went on our hike. Not doing the 10 miles this time. It is supposed to be a strenuous hike…I'm not up to that right now…working on it though.


First part of the hike is through a cow pasture. Uphill but a nice walk…just avoid the “cow pies”.

Jo Anne resting on a trail marker. They were spaced out through the pasture. We hiked to the top and then through the trees you can just see over the ridge.


Our view from the top.


Once in the trees the trail got a bit harder…lots of rocks to watch…easy to turn an ankle on them.


We hiked up to the rocks that Rocky Knob was named for…this is one of the views. That is tree tops at the bottom of the picture.


There is a log structure with a beautiful stone fireplace. Jo Anne took a water break.


I followed this trail to see where it went.



After the overlook we took another route back to the trail we started on.


We hiked down to the trail that is called the “picnic” trail. This old building was one of a couple at the end.



I think our hike was only 4 or 5 miles but it was beautiful. We were both getting pretty anxious to do the 10 mile but got smart and decided to wait.

If you have your “senior pass” for National Parks you can camp here for $8 a night. No electric or water hookups…but they have a dump station and water fill up. Several motorhomes and campers came in just for overnight parking. They were doing the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive.

If you ever get a chance to run them….it is definitely worth the time.