Spikenard Farm Apprenticeship Description 2022

Spikenard Farm Apprenticeship Description 2022


The Spikenard Apprenticeship is an experience-based opportunity to learn with the bees at our Honeybee Sanctuary. We are located on 41 acres in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains with 25-40 bee hives, many flower gardens, a vegetable patch, fields of blooming cover crops, orchard, woods, pastures and a little river.


The daily work of the Farm Manager and Apprentices is to tend to the farm. The farm work is very diverse and ranges from daily chores to long days implementing larger projects to general upkeep of planting, weeding and harvesting.


The tasks for tending the honeybees are woven throughout the apprenticeship with time spent observing each hive, opening hives for health checks, catching and hiving swarms, a weekly mite count, and more.


In addition to the work on the land and with the bees, apprentices support and participate in the workshops held at the sanctuary through-out the summer. We also have a weekly meeting to dive deeper into the honeybee and insect realm of life, talk about beekeeping practices and have experiences with hive observation, meditation, and artistic work.


We work Monday-Friday 8-5 with a long lunch break, on the weekends we take turns being responsible for chores such as watering, opening and closing greenhouses and feeding the goats. Some weekends we have workshops and events at the farm that apprentices are expected to participate in.


The ideal apprentice has a strong work ethic, enjoys working outside every day, has a deep interest in the honeybees, an openness for exploring the spiritual aspects of life and nature, enthusiasm for community living and excitement for working closely with others as part of a team.


Spring Cohort (March – June)

In the spring time the work with the honeybees includes catching and hiving swarms, doing spring health checks to see how the hives have come through the winter and expanding the hives as the nectar flow increases with the increased light and warmth from the sun. The work on the farm is focused on seeding and planting in the vegetable gardens, the flower gardens, and in our larger fields of cover crops. We also work on weeding, mulching, harvesting and drying herbs, and many other tasks to keep our beautiful sanctuary looking good.


Summer Cohort (July – October)

In the summer time the work with the honeybees is focused on attentive observation of each hive as we turn from the season of expansion to the season of contraction. Later in the summer the work is focused on preparation for winter with health checks, tightening up empty spaces, and wrapping and insulating for winter warmth. The work on the farm includes lots of harvest of vegetables and herbs and continued maintenance of the gardens and fields.


In exchange for your hard work and dedication we offer:

*all the educational opportunities that are in session during the months of your apprenticeship

*very good housing adjacent to the farm

*a bag of vegetables from the garden each week

*A total stipend of $595 for the 4-month apprenticeship


To apply, follow this link: https://spikenardfarm.org/get-involved/#apprenticeships

Contact Anthea, our Farm Manager, with any questions at anthea@spikenardfarm.org