April 1 - April 30, 2020

Howard Hebel

Newman Architects

"The mission of Great Hill Apiary at Bumble Purse Farms is to create a prototype for sustainable living, stewarding our human and natural resources accordingly."

Points Total

  • 0 Today
  • 0 This Week
  • 1,406 Total

Participant Impact

  • up to
  • up to
    spent learning
  • up to
    meatless or vegan meals
  • up to
    waste composted

Howard's Actions


Research a Wild Animal

I will spend at least 60 minutes learning about a wild animal I find interesting, including their life cycle, habitat, ecosystem functions, and interactions with humans (if any!).

One-Time Action


Research Benefits of Biodiversity

I will spend at least 60 minutes researching how biodiversity positively impacts our world and how the loss of biodiversity harms it.

One-Time Action


Honeybee colonies

I will tend our 4 honeybee colonies each day to optimize their helath and survivability, monitoring for mites and queen health, feeding during spring konths when flowers are scarce, and continuing to tend them until late fall when we insulate them and close them in with extra food to make it rhough winter.



Honeybee meadows

I will create 3 new meadows by converting un-mowed areas on our farm to optimized wildflower meadows to help feed our 4 honeybee colonies that pollinate our vegetable gardens and give us honey.



Watch a Documentary about Food Sovereignty

I will watch 2 documentary(ies) about food sovereignty: the right of local peoples to control their own food systems including markets, ecological resources, food cultures and production methods.

One-Time Action


Reduce Animal Products

I will enjoy 2 meatless meal(s) and/or 2 vegan meal(s) each day of the challenge.



Vegetable garden

I will create a new vegetable garden to double our capacity to produce our own food during in the time of social distancing. We already tend a 1,000 SF garden at home. I will create, help our family plant, and help our family tend a second 1,000 SF vegetable garden.



Compost Food Waste

I will avoid sending up to .69 lbs (.31 kg) of food waste to the landfill each day by composting my food or learning how to.



  • Howard Hebel 4/30/2020 8:30 AM
    Rain for the next three days. Our gardens are well hydrated and the local reservoir (below) is full to start the season.
    IMG_9867.jpg 7.08 MB

  • Howard Hebel 4/29/2020 6:17 PM
    Walked in the woods today with a neighbor, appropriately distanced, to recharge our batteries with the beauty and tranquility of nature as it wakes from winter and celebrates life again. Our Labrador, Cyrus, immersed himself in every lake and stream along the way, to make sure that we noticed and appreciated the simple joy of fresh, clean water.
    IMG_9865.jpg 4.88 MB

  • Howard Hebel 4/28/2020 12:19 PM
    After several days of cold windy rain, today is a great day for our hundreds of seedlings to catch some photons on the porch and get used to the great outdoors. Still too early for planting, yet spring progresses inexorably toward planting days in May, after the last frost. Our honeybees frolic by the hundreds in the nepeta (cat mint) now blooming beside the porch.
    IMG_9856.jpg 3.04 MB

  • Howard Hebel 4/27/2020 4:33 PM
    Today we were stuck inside all day due to heavy rains so I started 2 seeds in each of 96 cells, representing 5 different kinds of sunflowers from miniature to giant, to add to our starter tables with grow lights where many tiny vegetable plants are sprouting everyday, hopefully to transplant into our pollinator gardens and vegetable gardens 4 weeks from today when the last frost will be behind us in southern New England.
    IMG_9849.jpg 3.08 MB

  • Howard Hebel 4/26/2020 12:14 PM
    Finished building the beds for our new vegetable garden today just before two days of rain began.
    IMG_9842.jpg 3.97 MB
    Turning lobster compost into the turned and topped 4th bed.
    IMG_9843.jpg 3.56 MB
    Covering with landscape fabric to suppress weeds initially.
    IMG_9845.jpg 4.92 MB
    All done just as rain begins to fall. Just need to plant and erect a deer fence now.

  • Howard Hebel 4/25/2020 4:24 PM
    Finished bringing mature honeybee colonies out of winter insulated mode today.

    IMG_9828.jpg 2.06 MB
    Checked that queens had been released in our 2 new colonies and found they had been released and were working with their new comrades to found new colonies. Still had to peel of the screens off of the queen cases to release other bees that had crawled in there.

  • Howard Hebel 4/22/2020 8:59 AM
    Happy Earth Day from Great Hill Apiary!

  • Howard Hebel 4/21/2020 9:21 AM
    We welcomed 2 new honeybee colonies into our apiary yesterday to replace 2 lost this winter.
    IMG_9780.jpg 2.27 MB
    Here is one colony moving down into its new home.
    IMG_9783.jpg 3.99 MB

    Our apiary, with 2 established colonies still in their foil-faced winter insulation and the 2 new colonies at left and right ends.

  • Howard Hebel 4/16/2020 8:09 PM
    IMG_9742.jpg 3.09 MB
    Our wonderful free range organic avian partners in sustainability who give us eggs and so much more.

  • Howard Hebel 4/15/2020 12:51 PM
    Drying and sterilizing 4 beehive feeder sections freshly washed from last season's gunk, for installation this weekend. Portable plastic hoop tunnel at right helps vegetable seedlings transition to outside temperatures for planting soon.
    IMG_9740.jpg 2.45 MB