The Three Leaf Farm Honeybee Sanctuary and Education Center was established in response to the Honeybee crisis to provide an organic, safe, and nectar-rich environment for our local honeybees and other pollinators.
Honeybees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats, mantids, and ants, are vital to the health of agriculture and are responsible for pollinating over one third of the food supply. Over the past decade, over 40% of beekeepers have reported the loss of their hives, commonly called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The reasons are many and can be difficult to pinpoint: climate change, habitat loss, rampant use of pesticides, parasites like the Varroa mite, and other causes. It is important to understand that honeybees are not native to this continent, therefore caring for our native pollinators is extremely important as they get far less media attention and funding.
Our mission is to educate our community about the importance of the honeybee and native pollinators to our food production, and to inspire people to make personal choices that promote the health of these pollinators and the environment.
Our efforts include:
- Keeping Beehives in a safe, pesticide-free environment
- Planting of native and perennial nectar-rich flowers, shrubs and trees.
- Educating of our local community through workshops, nature walks, farm days and printed materials.
- Supporting local legislature that promotes the health of the honeybee, backyard beekeeping, and environmental protection.
- Using organic farming practices for growing food at Three Leaf Farm.
- Allowing the growth of ‘weeds’, such as Milkweed, that are beneficial to bees and other pollinators.
Our farm managers, Jax Martinelli and Kelsey Conger, are our beekeepers here at the farm.
Together they work in the Bee Sanctuary maintaining the health of the beehives and ensuring the growth of a large and healthy garden space. A typical day in the sanctuary might consist of simple hive observation or feeding the bees, while also weeding out grasses and mulching the nectar-rich flowers and shrubs they have planted. They focus primarily on planting native perennials, but also plant out annuals that are rich in nectar and pollen.