QUINTA DAS ABELHAS
In January 2017 we purchased 25 acres of degraded pine monoculture farmland near the Serra da Estrela mountains in Central Portugal. We named the land Quinta Das Abelhas, Honey Bee Farm in English, with the aim to bring back wildlife and create a safe space for pollinators. By observing and with strategic land interventions guided by nature, we witnessed how transformation of human abused ecosystems can occur quickly. We began by gently removing the dying pine monoculture (caused by the nematode) to allow light to return to the forest floor. This allowed the dormant native trees to reawaken and oak, chestnut and alder buckthorn burst through. We watched the land reforesting itself.
Driven by our own internal rewilding needs, we composted, mulched, applied water retention strategies such as swales, planted fruit and nut trees and grew our own food. Over time we began to see a significant increase in the number and diversity of wild flowers, plants and insects. This has led to many more pollinators, bugs, butterflies, worms and bees with the bird life increasing rapidly. Highlights have been the exotic hoopoe rearing their young and bats breeding on the land.
In 2020 we bought horses to the land to explore regenerative grazing which opened up the land to new potential. We have further seen the increase of mushroom and bug life, the manure enriching soil life.
The honey bees
Our purpose is to see more honey bees living wild in the trees as nature intended. To replicate tree homes, we have been producing and installing log hives, bee centred not honey production centred habitats.
A haven for change makers
Over this time Quinta Das Abelhas naturally became a haven for change makers to come, be inspired by nature, have space to re-charge and be supported with constellation work. If you would like to come and experience life on the land read more here.