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July 2009 News from Spikenard Farm and Friends
Issue No. 1

Welcome to the very first E-News from the Friends of Spikenard Farm and Bee Sanctuary! We want to support the work of the farm and help spread information about the farm's holistic beekeeping and biodynamic farming.  We hope this buzz will inspire you to keep the bees in your thoughts and take action on their behalf.
Who are we?
We are people living across North America and beyond.  We are folks who might find it hard to get to Spikenard in person, yet who want to develop a connection with the farm in southwestern Illinois.  We have an interest in food, agriculture, pollinators, bees, community, and especially the earth-healing aspects of biodynamic agriculture.  We are concerned about the dire condition of honeybee populations. We seek to play a part in saving this sustainer of life, the honeybee.
What do we do?
We help Gunther Hauk and all of the farm's co-workers do their work spreading the word out about the farm's activities and aspirations. 
How do we do it?
Right now, we're writing this monthly newsletter we hope will buzz around email boxes and attract interest in the farm and the bees.  As our numbers grow, we can conceive of new ideas for connecting to others.  So, if you're getting this and can think of someone to send it to, then you're part of the good work!  Soon, we'll have a link on the website where people can sign up for the e-news themselves. 
What's News?
Each month, we will provide a brief update of life on the farm and provide a link to a story that involves honey, honeybees, or holistic beekeeping.  As always, you will be able to visit the Spikenardfarm.org website and catch up on the seasonal newsletters by founder Gunther Hauk and the blog posts by co-workers.  Thanks for reading!

bee on flower
Fences Coming Down

 July 6-10 Volunteer Work Week
We're just completing the second of two volunteer work weeks here, but it's not too late to help make a difference this summer.  Those interested are still welcome to work along with the farm and garden team. (read more....)

Please email Ruthie in the office:  info@spikenardfarm.org or call her at 217-942-3732 to get more information about helping out on the farm.

A First Taste of Spikenard Honey

On May 8 and 9 the farm welcomed lots of guests who came from near and far to attend a workshop on beekeeping. The weather changed from the predicted rain to a sunny afternoon so we were able to open hives and inspect the bees.  The Spring colony development was surprisingly  strong in spite of the very wet April and May and the hives are vibrant and vital, giving us plenty of honey for the first time on the  farm.
People are so grateful to learn that one can work with the honeybees in a respectful, sustainable and healing way.  Jane and John Timmons wrote, "We are still glowing from our weekend at Spikenard!  We came needing information about holistic beekeeping, and we left with that plus lots of inspiration. We thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, inspiration, and life's knowledge with us."

bee on flower
Colony Collapse

 A rapid decline in honey bee numbers was noticed in 2006 and agricultural research has yet to determine a cause for this. Diseases, mites, pesticides, weakened immune systems and hunger from lack of forage may all be part of a complex mix of reasons for the bees' decline. The only thing that is clear is the challenge for us to act. Unfortunately, most of the research is justified only in relation to economic impacts to agriculture rather than the broader reasons to protect this unique organism.  While the economic impacts of bee decline are indeed serious, perhaps you'll be interested in other ways the bee impacts the wider ecology and our own humanity. 
To get an overview of the status of research on colony collapse, you can refer to the Wikipedia.org entry:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colony_Collapse_Disorder
To find out how Spikenard Farm and Bee Sanctuary is helping create a broader vision for saving the honey bee, visit:  http://www.spikenardfarm.org/articles_lilipoh.shtml  

Spread the Buzz!

If you enjoyed reading this, please pass it on!  The more people who know about the plight of the bees and the ways we are working to protect them, the better. Spikenard is a pioneering organization and working to gain sustainable funding. If you are inspired to do so, please consider making a donation to Spikenard (as a 501c3 tax-exempt entity, your donation is tax deductible).  Your contribution will contribute to buying equipment and facilities vital to the farm's function.  Thanks for reading!

Spikenard Farm and Friends

In This Issue
On the Farm
Colony Collapse
What You Can Do
Help support our continuing efforts for the Honeybee.  Or consider volunteering at Spikenard Farm!
Find Out More
about Spikenard Farm's latest news by visiting our blog
More to see...
Important links and Articles
Email us to sign up for the monthly BZZZ
Our Mission
Established a non-profit organization in summer of 2006, Spikenard Farm and Apiary is creating a biodynamic farm with a bee sanctuary at its heart, cultivating an environment that promotes life and health.  We chose to do this in the heartland of the USA, where damages to the soil, the water, to the social structure of the farming communities are, perhaps, more severe than in other regions of the country. We offer training in beekeeping, in biodynamic farming and gardening as well as educational programs for children, thus enabling future farmers, beekeepers and educators to develop faculties and practices needed to let agriculture be the foundation for a sustainable and thriving culture. 
While we continue to pioneer this effort, we depend on volunteers, grants and individual donations to support our core operations and capital improvements. Contributions to Spikenard Farm and Apiary are fully tax deductible.  Please click here to make a donation.