On the Farm

Shipmast Farm is a short walk from the Piscataqua River, originally settled by a returning Revolutionary War veteran in the 1790s. The name “Shipmast” derives from the large stands of tall straight white pine that grew, back in the days when wind was the best available source of power on the water, and it was socially acceptable to mount canon on your boat. Today, the farm is operated by a pair of seasoned amateurs pursuing their passions for beekeeping, pottery and nature.  Our goal is to preserve small-scale farming as a way of life, to live sustainably, and to leave the world a little better than we found it.  

On the farm we try to provide a healthy home for the bees, and they reward us with lots of honey, which we bring to you raw & unfiltered, or (better yet) as chunks of honeycomb straight from the hive.  When we’re not working with the bees, we produce a variety of hand-crafted ceramic items, including bowls, cups, plates, piggy banks and the occasional honey pot.  We like to think the happiness of farm living shines through in these products, and we are delighted to share them with you!

A Year in the Life of a Bee on Shipmast Farm

AugustHappy Birthday to me! I’m a little different from the older bees, a little bit heavier and I sure like to eat! Everybody is so nice though – and there’s this really big bee that smells great! I love her so much!
SeptemberThere are still some babies to feed, but not so many these days. Lots of goldenrod nectar still coming into the hive.
OctoberThings have got a lot quieter around here.
Thanksgiving – St. Patrick’s DaySnuggle with the other bees in the cluster and dream about Summer.
MarchThe Queen has been laying more eggs so there is finally something to do! Gosh I love the Queen – she smells so good! The days are longer now and there’s even a little pollen from maple blossoms. A little chilly at night though so we have to cluster up, especially since the Farmer took the quilt box and tar paper off the hive on St. Patrick’s day.
AprilFinally some nectar and more pollen! All the maples are in bloom (red, silver and sugar), and there are nice sunny days that get over 50 degrees so we can get out to collect it. The Queen has been busy laying eggs and there are now lots of babies to feed. Gosh I love the babies!
MayMore different flavors of nectar and lots of pollen coming into the hive, and it’s getting a little crowded as last month’s babies emerge from their pupal stage. And there are drones around the hive now – everybody loves the drones. They’re like big golden retrievers! Some of the younger bees are talking about swarming.
JuneHoly cow there’s an absolute waterfall of nectar coming into the hive!
JulyWhat happened to all the nectar?