Hillside Hives: From an idea to reality
Hillside Hives is a small urban farm in northern New Hampshire nestled in the Connecticut River Valley between the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Green Mountains of Vermont! We are strong believers in permaculture as a lifestyle philosophy and utilize this throughout our apiary.
We are so fortunate to have tons of gardens and a growing apiary on our little urban farm. I had wanted to add bees to our urban farm for years, but did not know an appropriate area on our ~1/4 in-town acreage. I was tapping our maple trees one cold spring day when I had an idea! I saw the perfect area for bees- well at the time it was a vision of what would be a perfect place, but would require some elbow grease!
As you see from the pictures above, Hillside Hives got its name because our apiary is located on a wooded hillside! Living in town can be quite challenging to urban farmers so we have to be creative and use the land we have. I could see the vision and thought this area of our land would be the ideal place for our apiary- so I went to work.
I started at the top of the hill and worked my way down. I dug steps into the side of the hill using downed trees as steps, added gravel from the local quarry for drainage and then added the hives! I cleared some of the area so the morning and afternoon sun can come through yet left enough for a cool afternoon shade, as well as some protection from the harsh blowing winter snow. We can now hold between 8-10 hives in this area.
It is so fun watching the bees- they tend to have two paths from the apiary. The first is a straight shot up over the trees and over the Connecticut River into Vermont. The second path is a quick left turn to our gardens and the gardens throughout our community in New Hampshire!
So there you have it- many years of hard work and our vision became a reality. Seeing the hives on the hill is quite an addition to our community, and actually quite the sight to see!
Our one down side to Hillside Hives- you have to carry hive boxes full of honey UP the hill!!! That is my exercise for the day so I time out and pace out my honey harvest! The hill also requires some maintenance, especially the steps, to keep the apiary safe and easy to access.
Thanks for stopping by my website and feel free to contact me anytime!
Beekeeper- Hillside Hives