The Green Gulch Honeybee Sanctuary and Refuge

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As we all know, Honeybees still vanish in huge numbers worldwide. Bees are intimately linked to the greater web of life, and their plight is an indicator of global ecological imbalances.  Bees are at the brink of becoming an endangered species.  Honeybees are a keystone species and the well being of the biosphere depends on them.

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The vision of a Honeybee Sanctuary at GGF emerged out of concern for the survival of bees and the health of the global biosphere.  Our vision focuses on developing new approaches to apiculture, understanding of the natural life forces and instinctual needs of bees, and on providing sustainable landscapes and nest sites (hive designs).  The health of the bees will be the primary focus of the Honeybee Sanctuary.

Our goal is to create a self sustaining apiary, which links local wild Honeybees to a bee-centric approach to apiculture.

Green Gulch Farm is located in the midst of Golden Gate National Recreational Area and surrounded by coastal chaparral. National Muir Woods Monument is within the flying range of all Honeybees.

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On Arbor day we started this project with an evaluation of wild and managed bee hives in the garden, farm and surrounding landscape. We found that all previously known hives had survived the winter and are now growing with the beginning of early spring. A first log hive was installed in an oak tree to add a natural nest habitat for Honeybees.

The wild Honeybees within the GGF watershed represent the core and center piece of the sanctuary. All bee nests in the watershed are initially evaluated and then monitored throughout the years.  The fundamental values of this new framework reflect the instinctual preferences and wisdom of Honeybees.

There will be three beekeeping classes at Green Gulch throughout the year, where we will share the core principles of this new approach, paired with biodynamic practices and the study of the physiology and morphology of honeybees. The second comes at the end of May, which, like the others later, is open for practicing beekeepers as well as for beginners and all “bee-lovers.” The classes will be a resource for backyard beekeepers to keep their bees more healthy and strong. For more information, go to events.  

(first picture: Wild Honeybee nest at Green Gulch; second picture: New comb in top bar hive at GGF; Newly installed Log Hive at Green Gulch)
 

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