The Apiary Artist was fully established as a subsidiary of Shadow Horse Studios, LLC., in 2017. We are tucked quietly away on the backside of Furnace Mountain, less than 3 miles away from the historic Potomac River in Loudoun County’ scenic western end. Surrounded by nature, wineries & breweries, antique stores, and farms, there are plenty of amazing things to see and do after stopping in to visit with the bees!
This is, in the true sense, a minimal lifestyle farmette. Choosing to live small but with a large and beneficial impact on Mother Nature, the local ecosystems, and the community. My mission is to bring awareness to the many pollinators who work tirelessly in the natural world for the benefit of ALL KIND- not just mankind. Pollinators today face many challenges in our world today, from chemical applications on their foraging grounds to increased development of natural habitats. I aim to promote awareness and appreciation through art, beekeeping, and educational programs.
I have been working hard to raise honey bee colonies that are acclimated to my local area. My bees are of a strong mixed feral genetic line as I utilize only naturally open bred queens. I am an ethical bee-centric beekeeper who prefers to call herself a "bee guardian." I utilize sustainable, biodynamic, and as near natural beekeeping methods as possible.
I want my bees to thrive the way nature intended them, not the way those with anthropocentric views believe they should. They are not here on this earth to simply make honey for humans and pollinate human food crops. Here in my apiaries, I rejoice when we find thick abundant amounts of propolis in a hive. I see the beauty in both wet-capped and dry-capped honey frames. All things the bees create, have a purpose and as such, are sacred.
I take a much more gentle approach to how I work with my bees. I never treat them as honey producing commodities. My approach to harvesting honey, wax, and propolis is simple, "I leave a lot more than I ever take!" After-all, honey is the food of the bees, it belongs to them, is needed by them, and should be respected as such. I believe healthy and strong colonies result directly from the food they eat. Sugar syrups, Corn Syrups, and other man-made food supplements should be used at a bare minimum- if at all!
In addition to keeping honey bees, I create nesting sites for the many native bumble bee and bee species I have here right in our own backyard too. I raise mason bees and leaf cutter bees to strengthen the population of native bees in our area.
I strive to provide a pollinator friendly landscape around our property. I choose plants that are both nectar and pollen sources as well as host plants. I do my best to avoid non-native invasive plants but we do utilize some non]native food plants in our own food and herb gardens. There are a few nonnative flowering plants I like to grow as long as they provide a great source of nectar and pollen for foraging pollinators.
Whether you are interested in learning more about bees, creating a pollinator friendly landscape, pollinator art, or just tasting some yummy honey, The Apiary Artist is here to help!
I am an established artist, illustrator, photographer, and educator. I obtained my BFA from The Hartford Art School with a Major in Illustration (focus children's book illustration), and studied photography and art history (with a focus on sacred and pre-Christian ancient art).I obtained my MAT/MFA at The Maryland Institute College of Art.
Before starting The Apiary Artist, I spent many long years as a freelance commercial artist and photographer as well as an educator in both the public and private school systems; pre-k all the way through college level instruction and private art tutoring. I even spent time as a volunteer docent at The Baltimore Museum of Art while at graduate school.
I never considered how compatible my pursuit of beekeeping and all things pollinators would be with my artistic and educational endeavors. I am grateful that The Apiary Artist has given me the opportunity to bring valuable awareness to pollinators right here in Northern Virginia and beyond.