In 2016, after a decades-long hiatus, Grow Appalachia helped Pine Mountain Settlement School revive its historic apiary on the campus farm. Starting with two nucleus colonies (NUCS’s) purchased in Western Kentucky, we set out to build our mountain beeyard. Our demonstration apiary grew slightly over the past five years; however, this year, the School’s beeyard has grown four-fold, increasing from 4 to 16 hives!
We have been blessed to catch numerous swarms this spring as our older hives produce new queens. When a new queen emerges, the old queen is forced out, taking a portion of the bees with her. Catching these clusters is one of the best ways to start or grow your apiary. Locally sourced bees are better adapted to their unique environmental stresses and are typically a lower-cost option.