Score one for the bees! We are very grateful and humbled to have been recently awarded a grant from RAFI USA (Rural Agricultural Foundation International) in support of Buck Naked Farm’s apiary growth plans. RAFI’s Agricultural Reinvestment grants are funded by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund to help preserve small farms and encourage innovative agricultural ideas. This is private money from the ’90s tobacco settlement that is used to shift farming from tobacco to alternative crops. While we were not tobacco farmers, we are small farm (and bee) preservers.
Thank a bee every time you eat! That’s our theme. Every 3rd bit of food we eat was either directly or indirectly affected by pollinators. We are excited to be an ambassador of their urgent message. Our grant project involves expanding our honey bee apiary, adding mutually beneficial crops (for people & bees), and offering honey bee education opportunities. We can’t wait to get started.
While not native to North America, honey bees are one of our best crop pollinators. More
than half of the nation’s honey bee colonies are needed to pollinate the valuable California almond crop each spring. Without the pollinators, no nuts. Part of our project is planting mutually beneficial crops. First up is our blueberry field. The bees get to enjoy the pollen and nectar and we will enjoy the future fruit and jam. Over the summer, we will be adding sunflowers and other planted areas for bee forage.
Another part of our funded project is creating a honey bee education area – for both the public and prospective beekeepers. We will have a roadshow presentation for schools, groups & community events plus we will offer open farm days to visit the apiary, see our demonstration garden, and learn how honey is harvested. be arriving by the end of the month and soon the season’s nectar (honey!) flow will be on.
There is a lot to do but we are already hard at work. Newly assembled hive boxes are piling up, soil amendments are being heaped, and the queen bees are laying in earnest. We have several new honey bee colonies arriving later this month. We will continue to post on our project developments and events open to the public. This summer will be a wild and exciting ride. We hope you will join us!