Bees and Trees at Spring Hills Farm

Spring Hills Farm is committed to caring for honey bees and native pollinators through stewardship of the existing habitat as well as new plantings.

Honey bees are important to agriculture and environmental education at the Farm. For many, honey bees are a gateway into learning more about the importance of pollinators in our ecosystem. Native pollinators contribute to biodiversity and many native plants depend on them for survival. Honey bees as well as native bees are in decline worldwide. Education about bees can help people grasp the negative effects of pesticides, habitat loss and climate change, as well as these little creatures' importance to the world's food security and biodiversity.

The Farm established two honey bee hives in 2021, currently located in the new blueberry patch alongside the Pond House Road. The Farm plans to build additional bee hives in other areas around the Farm. They also plan to strengthen habitats around the Farm to support native pollinator populations. As part of the Farm’s effort to support pollinators, they plan to establish a small organic apple orchard. Apple tree blossoms will provide some of the earliest sources of necessary food in the spring, long before other plants and flowers bloom.

The Foundation is seeking contributions toward this project to help build and maintain a honey bee yard and apple orchard at Spring Hills Farm. The bee yard would accommodate up to 20 honey bee colonies and produce honey and other hive products. The orchard will host a variety of up to 240 apple trees as well as native plant species like elderberry. The first step for the orchard is to install a permanent deer fence. Our vision is a rich, biodiverse, organic orchard that produces food for humans and pollinators.

Here are some specific things that you can make contributions for. (To target your donation, please click on the Contributions button, select “Bees and Trees” as the category of your gift, and if you want, indicate a specific use for your gift in the notes area).

Preliminary Costs

  • Orchard deer fence:

  • Orchard trellis system: $3,500

  • 20 starter trees: $800

  • Soil amendments: $400

  • Tarp: $300

  • Auger rental: $500

  • Woodenware (for bees)for three hives: $500

  • Bee Suits (to have on hand for students): $50 each

  • Bees and Other Equipment: $1,000 (ask for more details)


On-going Costs

  • 1 year organic mite treatment for a honey bee colony: $30

  • 1 apple tree for the orchard: $35

  • Native seed mix beneficial to all pollinators: $50

  • Native bee house: $100

  • Cost to purchase a Nuc Colony from a local bee farm (comes with queen, brood and worker bees): $185

  • All the wooden equipment needed to set up a new honey bee colony: $250