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Bee Program

In 2013, Fearrington Village’s honey bee program began with five local bee hives, and the simple goal of producing nectar flow the following year. It was important to select local bee hives because the bees would be acclimated to North Carolina’s climate – particularly the summer heat – and would be less likely to be stressed. Now, honey is harvested from the prolific bee hives every 2-3 months during the spring and summer seasons. Each hive is home to nearly 60,000 bees and produces an average of 50 pounds of honey.

Honey flavor is ever-changing, and even varies from hive to hive, due to the diverse array of gardens and pollinating plants available throughout the Village. Our gardening team is dedicated to installing native and pollinator plants, which contributes to the flavor of our honey. Our chefs choose not to mix the honey from different harvests to allow guests to enjoy subtle flavor changes throughout the season.

At each harvest, our culinary gardener  records the flowers in bloom and the time of year the harvest occurred in order to track how our gardens affect the honey’s flavor. Since honey flavors fluctuate by season and year, there are vintages of honey that are superior to others. These different flavors are then highlighted by the chefs throughout the Village.

Whether native or ornamental, honey bees boost pollination throughout the Village. Honey bees also enjoy many of the wild flowering plants we have in the fields with our Belted Galloway cows. Often, plants that are seen as weeds, such as clover and dandelions, are actually critical bee food. The more flowers, pollinating plants and gardens you have, the healthier your ecosystem will “bee.”

Fearrington is lucky to already have all of the elements required for a good bee habitat – clean, plentiful food, clean water and a clean environment. There are plenty of different flower plants for the bees to forage on, including a wildflower garden in Camden Park. Our bee hives are also located close to our culinary vegetable gardens, giving them another supply of food and helping pollinate the produce our chefs use in The Fearrington House Restaurant. Our hives are also placed off the ground to promote good air flow around the hives, and to protect the them from predators and strong wind.

Fearrington’s hives are part of a collective effort, but a simple one. We aim to restore and focus on the health of the land in order for the bees to thrive.

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Fearrington's Bees