July 6, 2017 by glenfoerd
Welcome back bee lovers! We hope you had a BEE-utiful holiday weekend (*So on a scale of 1-10, 10 being really old, how old does that get? A 10 right? But it is so hard to resist!)
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, Glen Foerd on the Delaware is now proud caretaker of multiple honey bee hives. When choosing where the “ladies” should reside on site we talked about a few different locations, but ultimately landed on establishing the hives on a plot of land near our carriage house. The area had historically been used for a variety of agricultural uses including as a horse pasture, vegetable garden and apple orchard.
The carriage house location checked off all the boxes. The bees’ new home location is only a few acres away from both the Poquessing Creek and the Delaware River. The location is surrounded by a variety of plants that bloom throughout the seasons including Japanese Maples, Forsythia, and heritage grapes. Just a few weeks after the hives were established we also officially opened a twenty plot organic community garden adjacent to the hives, making the location a veritable smorgasbord for bees!
Safety first is a saying for good reason. We wanted to provide visitors to Glen Foerd the ability to approach the hives if they wanted to, but didn’t want to intimidate guests who may be allergic to bee stings, or dogs who won’t hesitate to go to the honey. Our hives are visible from the roadway, but are not in a direct walking path. We’ve also allowed plenty of room around the hives for our landscapers to safely cut the grass without agitating the bees.
Beyond the safety of our visitors, we needed to protect the bees. Sam’s big environmental concerns were heat and wind. We purposefully had the hive boxes painted in light colors to help with the reflection of the sun, and placed the boxes in a location that allowed them to receive dappled sunlight so they could survive the summer without overheating or becoming overly damp from too much shade. As a riverfront estate it is not uncommon for us to experience high winds and damage to our century old trees. The hives receive a wind break from a large set of evergreens as well as the heritage grapevine. Most importantly, the boxes are not in a direct path of falling trees.
So choosing the “perfect location” came with a lot of thought. The bees have settled in and we are on our way to reaping the benefits. Just look at our organic community garden. It’s looking bigger and better, without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Even our once tired heritage grape vine is overloaded with grapes this year. And who do we credit with our bounty? Well of course we thank our bees for that!