Beekeeping has always been central to the work and mission of the Pfeiffer Center. Our founding program director, Gunther Hauk, had been keeping bees according to biodynamic principles for more than twenty years when he arrived at the Pfeiffer Center in 1996. The Pfeiffer Center soon had a thriving apiary and became widely known for its beekeeping workshops.
Besides an attitude of reverence and care for the bees consistent with biodynamic principles, Gunther also brought innovative techniques, then little known in the US, for addressing the varroa mite. The acids and essential oils became essential alternatives to the then-popular chemical miticides, which soon proved to be ineffective and harmful.
Today, the Pfeiffer Center’s apiary serves as a model for humane organic/biodynamic beekeeping practices that are well within reach of hobbyist, sideliner, and commercial beekeepers. The bees are also a key animal component of our biodynamic farm organism; an important aid to vegetable production; and an essential component of our beekeeping workshops, children’s programming, and farmer training.
Pfeiffer Center beekeeper Bill Day has kept bees following biodynamic principles for fifteen years. He conducts beekeeping workshops for the Pfeiffer Center and at PASA’s annual winter conference. On a consulting basis, Bill has revitalized the apiary at the Center for Discovery’s Thanksgiving Farm in Sullivan County, NY, training a new beekeeper there in the process.