Floyd County farm is a world-class sanctuary for honeybees

Famed master beekeeper and German gardening teacher Gunther Hauk and his wife, Vivian, moved to the Floyd County mountains to found a one-of-a-kind nonprofit apiary in 2009. Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary has since become a monument to sustainable farming and beekeeping. 

Photo by Spikenard Bee & Wildflower Farm

“Instead of focusing on how much honey we can get from the bees, we ask what can be done to protect, strengthen, and heal them,” says farm director Alex Tuchman, who stepped in after Hauk’s retirement. 

The 41-acre campus now features more than 10 acres of manicured, nutrition-rich pollinator gardens, a five-acre veggie garden, and five-acre wildflower meadow. All are tended using 100 percent organic methods and surrounded by fruit orchards and selectively curated forests filled with flowering hardwood trees like tulip poplar, black locust, and basswood. The grounds create sumptuous natural forage for more than 35 hives of honeybees—which, in turn, produce out-of-this-world honey.  SpikenardFarm.org


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2024 issue.

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