BRACELETS FOR POLLINATORS

Lets celebrate our pollinator friends! Bracelets for Pollinators are handmade with love.  Each pollinator inspired bracelet is one of a kind, made with black elastic and natural semi-precious beads. 

Note: The beads will vary in color and pattern, due to being a natural product.

  • Handmade
  • 6mm or 8mm natural beads sizes available
  • 6″, 7″, 8″, and 9″ lengths available
  • Elastic thread
  • Comes in a drawstring burlap bag
  • A perennial pollinator plant will be planted in our meadows or gardens for every bracelet sold!
  • Custom sizing available

Just Released: Hummingbird Moth

Monarch Pack

Also Available

Coming soon…

Bracelets for Pollinators new edition: Bumble Bee

To support these amazing pollinators, visit our online shop

Bee Well,

Roda

Bee Camp for Kids

This week kicked off our first session of Bee Camp for Kids for 2021! Bee Camp for Kids is a unique, hands-on, and educational experience. Throughout the week, participants will have opportunities to suit up, in the safety of our provided bee suits, and learn about the amazing life of our honey bees, local pollinators, and the plants that sustain them.

Featured Topics Include:

  • West Michigan pollinators and the native plants that sustain them
  • Life of the honey bee colony
  • The relationship between bees & flowers
  • Healthy soil & plants
  • How you can help save our local pollinators
  • Gardening for the bees

Hands-on Activities:

  • Hive Explorations w/Bee Suit
  • Interactive Bee & Plant Explorations
  • Plant Pollinator Friendly Seeds & Plants
  • Outdoor Pollinator Hunts /Garden Explorations
  • Interactive Games /Art Explorations

Recommended for grades 3rd-6th.

We believe that small group instruction is most beneficial for learning. Therefore, weekly sessions are capped at 6 individuals. Due to the nature of this experience and for the safety of the humans and bees involved, student participants are expected to not only show kindness and respect, but display self-control during their week long experience.

Indigo Acres Apiary is currently offering the following week long sessions:

Session 1: June 21-25: Currently in progress!

Session 2: July 5-9: OPEN! CONTACT US for registration information or to be placed on our waiting list for future camp sessions.

Session Time: M-F, 10am – 2pm (students must bring a lunch)

Session Cost: $200/student

Cost Includes:

  • Books “The ABC’s of Beekeeping” & “The ABC’s of Honey Bees” by Beekeeper Roda
  • A “Bee Camp for Kids” t-shirt
  • Drawstring bag to hold camp materials
  • Camp journal
  • Pollinator friendly seeds/seedlings to plant at home.
  • Mason bee house for home
  • Photo Opportunities: Individual photos will be emailed to families, throughout the week.
  • A week of hands-on fun and outdoor learning!

About Beekeeper Roda

Beekeeper Roda has a life-long passion for not only pollinators, but for the plants that sustain them. As a former elementary educator for over 20 years, Roda blends her passion for education, honey bees, and gardening to offer this unique, hands-on opportunity for kids, right here in West Michigan. She is so excited to share her knowledge with future beekeepers and gardeners!

Visit indigoacresapiary.com for more information.

Plant a Flower, Save a Bee

Now Available for Purchase!

Visit our Online Shop to order your copies today!

The ABC’s of Honey Bees

This whimsical book celebrates the magical world of the honey bee.  Each letter of the alphabet represents an important aspect of the honey bee’s life, and takes the reader on a captivating journey from A to Z. The author’s detailed explanations and brilliant photography provide a close-up look into this amazing world.  The ABC’s of Honey Bees is perfect for both children and adults eager to learn more about these astounding creatures, and the important role they play in our delicate ecosystem.

Book Reviews

“Roda Shope uses her wealth of creative talents and expertise to bring the reader into the lives of bees and their importance in the environment. This book shows the magical intricacies within the hive through brilliant imagery and detailed explanations. As a beekeeping educator, I am always looking for quality materials to share and this book has earned a place in my collection!”

 – Mandy Shaw owner at Bella Beek and host of Beekeeper Confidential

“This is a fantastic book!! As a science educator and fellow beekeeper, this is a great book to put in the hands of my students. The information found here will teach students of any age about the honey bee along with the important role they play in our ecosystem. It is so well written that students can easily understand the meaning of the words as well as see an up-close example in the beautiful photos.”

-Erin Hudgins, science teacher and beekeeper 

The ABC’s of Beekeeping

This whimsical book celebrates the exciting world of beekeeping.  Each letter of the alphabet represents an important aspect of a beekeeper’s life, and takes the reader on a captivating journey from A to Z. The author’s detailed explanations and brilliant photography provide a close-up look into the life of a beekeeper. The ABC’s of Beekeeping is perfect for both children and adults eager to learn more about the fascinating world of beekeeping.

Book Reviews

What a memorable, amazing experience to discover the world of bees through the eyes of an expert who’s proven her skills, not only in caring for these wonderful creatures, but photographing them and clarifying the essentials for newcomers. Roda Shope has assembled a breathtaking series of pictures and 26 brilliant alphabetical explanations that make it super easy to learn the important facts. A stunning collection one shouldn’t miss!    

-James J. Cudney, author

Roda Shope uniquely blends the art of beekeeping and her personal experiences with bees through these pages to inspire a more bee-friendly world. This book will take you on a captivating journey with beautiful photography and inform you about the important role of the beekeeper from A to Z! Armed with nothing more than the love of bees and the right equipment you too can make the world a better place.

  -Kelly Card, beekeeper

About The Author

Roda has always had a passion for nature and the arts.  With her camera and sketch pad in hand, she spent her childhood exploring the woods, chasing bees, and gardening with her dad.  As a young adult, she continued to celebrate nature through storytelling, art, and photography and shared these passions throughout her 20+ year career as an elementary educator.   In 2014, Roda’s lifelong beekeeping dream became a reality, and Indigo Acres Apiary was born.  Roda’s love for education continues as she shares knowledge with others about the importance of pollinators and the plants that sustain them.  It is her hope that The ABC’s of Honey Bees and The ABC’s of Beekeeping will inspire others to support, protect, and celebrate these magical creatures.  Roda lives with her family in Rockford, Michigan.

For more information about Roda and Indigo Acres Apiary, visit Indigoacresapiary.com

“Plant a Flower, Save a Bee”

Exciting News…

As an elementary educator for over 20 years, I have always had a passion for children’s literature. Through the pages of books, kids are able to journey to new worlds they may never experience in their daily lives. I am excited to announce that I have published my first two books with Northern Bee Books: The ABC’s of Honey Bees and The ABC’s of Beekeeping. Both titles are perfect for kids and adults that are interested in exploring the world of honey bees and beekeeping. These books will be available to purchase at the following locations: Indigoacresapiary.com, Amazon and Northern Bee Books. Release date coming soon!

The ABC’s of Honey Bees

This whimsical book celebrates the magical world of the honey bee.  Each letter of the alphabet represents an important aspect of the honey bee’s life, and takes the reader on a captivating journey from A to Z. The author’s detailed explanations and brilliant photography provide a close-up look into this amazing world.  The ABC’s of Honey Bees is perfect for both children and adults eager to learn more about these astounding creatures, and the important role they play in our delicate ecosystem.

Book Reviews

“Roda Shope uses her wealth of creative talents and expertise to bring the reader into the lives of bees and their importance in the environment. This book shows the magical intricacies within the hive through brilliant imagery and detailed explanations. As a beekeeping educator, I am always looking for quality materials to share and this book has earned a place in my collection!”

 – Mandy Shaw owner at Bella Beek and host of Beekeeper Confidential

“This is a fantastic book!! As a science educator and fellow beekeeper, this is a great book to put in the hands of my students. The information found here will teach students of any age about the honey bee along with the important role they play in our ecosystem. It is so well written that students can easily understand the meaning of the words as well as see an up-close example in the beautiful photos.”

-Erin Hudgins, science teacher and beekeeper 

The ABC’s of Beekeeping

This whimsical book celebrates the exciting world of beekeeping.  Each letter of the alphabet represents an important aspect of a beekeeper’s life, and takes the reader on a captivating journey from A to Z. The author’s detailed explanations and brilliant photography provide a close-up look into the life of a beekeeper. The ABC’s of Beekeeping is perfect for both children and adults eager to learn more about the fascinating world of beekeeping.

Book Reviews

What a memorable, amazing experience to discover the world of bees through the eyes of an expert who’s proven her skills, not only in caring for these wonderful creatures, but photographing them and clarifying the essentials for newcomers. Roda Shope has assembled a breathtaking series of pictures and 26 brilliant alphabetical explanations that make it super easy to learn the important facts. A stunning collection one shouldn’t miss!    

-James J. Cudney, author

Roda Shope uniquely blends the art of beekeeping and her personal experiences with bees through these pages to inspire a more bee-friendly world. This book will take you on a captivating journey with beautiful photography and inform you about the important role of the beekeeper from A to Z! Armed with nothing more than the love of bees and the right equipment you too can make the world a better place.

  -Kelly Card, beekeeper

About The Author

Roda has always had a passion for nature and the arts.  With her camera and sketch pad in hand, she spent her childhood exploring the woods, chasing bees, and gardening with her dad.  As a young adult, she continued to celebrate nature through storytelling, art, and photography and shared these passions throughout her 20+ year career as an elementary educator.   In 2014, Roda’s lifelong beekeeping dream became a reality, and Indigo Acres Apiary was born.  Roda’s love for education continues as she shares knowledge with others about the importance of pollinators and the plants that sustain them.  It is her hope that The ABC’s of Honey Bees and The ABC’s of Beekeeping will inspire others to support, protect, and celebrate these magical creatures.  Roda lives with her family in Rockford, Michigan.

For more information about Roda and Indigo Acres Apiary, visit Indigoacresapiary.com

“Plant a Flower, Save a Bee”

Happy World Bee Day!

As a beekeeper and avid gardener, it is my goal to spread awareness about the significance of bees and other pollinators. Did you know that these amazing creatures pollinate 1/3 of the food we eat? Think about it…that’s one in three bites! Can you imagine life without avocados, asparagus, broccoli, peaches, berries and almonds to name a few?! If we all help just a little, think about the HUGE impact we can make together!

Here are some easy ways you can help your local pollinators thrive in your backyard…

  • There are many native flowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees that will make safe havens for your local pollinators. Attracting pollinators to your garden is simple. By providing the right plants and trees, soon your backyard will be bursting with hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. By selecting flowers that will provide blooms throughout the changing seasons, you are assisting your local pollinators to flourish year round. Remember, even if you have a small space, potted plants work well, too. And, don’t forget to use organic methods when growing your plants. 
  • Please allow the dandelions to flourish! The dandelion is the perfect flower. No purchase required! All you have to do is let this little wildflower grow. Dandelions are one of the first spring food sources for the bees. Please, let them live…
  • Provide a shallow water source. The saucers used under garden pots work well for this. Submerge rocks half-way underwater to act as a landing pad, thus keeping your local pollinators happy and hydrated.
  • Avoid the use of pesticides. These harmful chemicals kill our beneficial insect population.
  • Buy local! Support pollinator friendly farmers and beekeepers buy purchasing organic produce and raw honey.
  • Leave dead stumps and tree trunks for wood nesting insects.
  • Allow an area of your backyard to go WILD! This natural space will provide a safe haven for many pollinators.

Just think of the amazing impact we would have if each person took one little step towards pollinator protection…

What will you do in 2020 to help your local pollinators?

Happy World Bee Day!

Our motto is simple….Plant a Flower, Save a Bee!

💚 Roda

Visit Indigo Acres Apiary to learn more about our products and educational services.

The Old-Fashioned Lungwort

Today’s Feature Flower is the old-fashioned lungwort (Pulmonaria).

This early spring perennial is the first to bloom in our gardens. Lungworts are loaded with tiny, bell-shaped flowers, surrounded by mounds of hairy green leaves, spotted with white. These delicate beauties are perfect for mass planting and are loved by the bees. We have noticed our honeybees and numerous bumble bees visiting our lungwort boarder this season!
🌸
Height: 6”-12”tall
Bloom Color: blue, purple, red, pink and white
Bloom Time: early spring
Light: part sun- shade
Moisture: moist, rich in humus
Hardiness: zone 4-8 depending on the variety.
Variety Shown: “Raspberry Splash”
Bonus: deer & rabbit resistant!
🌸

As you are preparing for planting your garden, I hope you will find a little extra space to grow for your local pollinators. They work so hard for us daily… The least we can do for them is to provide chemical free forage.

Remember, when we help our local pollinators, they keep our food supply plentiful!
Bee Well,
💚Roda

Our motto is simple…
“Plant a Flower, Save a Bee”!

For more information about Indigo Acres Apiary, visit our About Us page…

Bee Bread, Anyone?

This little worker bee is busy making bee bread!


The Process: Pollen is collected by the forager bees and returned to the hive. Once it is placed into cells, the worker bees use their heads to firmly pack it in place. Honey, nectar or glandular secretions are added to the pollen. This layering process continues until the cell is 3/4 of the way full.

The cell is then topped off with a layer of sweet honey and left to ferment into bee bread. Bee bread is a high-protein food source for growing larvae and the bees. Bon appétit!

For more information about Indigo Acres Apiary, visit our About Us page.

The Whimsical Cosmos

This week’s Feature Flower is the whimsical cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus). This annual is loved by not only our honey bees, but our native bees, hummingbirds, moths and butterflies. Due to its ease to grow from seed and ability to thrive in poor soil, this simple beauty will flourish with minimal water and lots of sunshine!

Height: 3’-6’ tall
Bloom Color: pink and white with yellow centers
Bloom Time: summer- fall
Light: full sun
Hardiness: annual

Cosmos is available in numerous varieties. Over the years, I have found that the basic pink and white, flat- petaled flowers are most loved by our honey bees and local pollinators.

I purchase all of my cosmos seeds from Botanical Interests. The following two varieties are organic heirlooms. They have both been a huge success in our pollinator gardens and meadows.

Sensation Blend Cosmos Seeds

Sea Shell Blend Cosmos Seeds

As you are preparing for planting your garden, or if you have already planted it, I hope you will find a little extra space to grow for your local pollinators. They work so hard for us daily… The least we can do for them is provide chemical free forage. Remember, when we help our local pollinators, they keep our food supply plentiful!

Bee Well,

💚Roda

Our motto is simple…
“Plant a Flower, Save a Bee”!

To learn more about Indigo Acres Apiary, visit our About Us page.

Glory of the Snow


As a beekeeper, I feel it is my duty to provide healthy forage for my bees. I’ve had a passion for flowers and bees for as long as I can remember. I love that my two favorite things complement one another so beautifully. This week’s Feature Flower, ‘Glory of the Snow’ (Chionodoxa) was a much needed addition to our early spring bee forage.

‘Glory of the Snow’ is a whimsical spring blooming bulb that is very cold hardy, blooming as far north as USDA hardiness zone 3. These bulbs are planted 2-3 inches deep in mid to late fall, about one month before your last frost date. They make a beautiful addition to your lawn, due to their extremely early bloom time. They naturalize beautifully, so make sure you give them a permanent home! Wait six weeks after the flowers have bloomed to cut back/mow down the foliage. These plants need time to store up energy before going dormant.

Flower Color: blue, white & pink
Pollen color: bright yellow
Height: 5-6 inches tall
Bloom Time: March-April
Light: full/part sun
Hardiness: zone 3-9

March-April can be a very challenging time for our honeybees. As the temperatures rise, the bees are ready to begin foraging, yet the nectar and pollen sources are slim. Our maple and willow trees are extremely helpful, but I wanted more. Adding hundreds of ‘Glory of the Snow’ bulbs to our lawn provided much needed nectar and pollen for not only our honey bees, but our native pollinators.

Our motto is simple…
“Plant a Flower, Save a Bee”!

Bee Well, Roda

Queen Louise II

During hive inspections, one might think that each colony would have the same feeling tone, but this is so not the case. I currently have over 30 colonies and each one has a different temperament. In my opinion, raising honey bees can be a bit like raising teenagers…their moods can change with the weather! I look forward to spending time with my little ladies on a beautiful sunny afternoon. But, you could not pay me to open a hive on a rainy day. Rain = cranky bees! But, over the years, I have discovered that some of my colonies are more predictable than others…

Queen Louise II made a royal appearance this week during hive inspections. Her colony is one of my favorites, due to the fact that they are huge, yet so docile. A strong queen bee will give off pheromones (chemical messages) that encourage the strength and stability of the colony. The assumption is often made that the queen bee is completely in charge, but this is not the case. The colony runs more like a democracy, rather than a dictatorship. But, the queen does make the decisions when it comes to laying eggs…or does she?

The queen inspects each cell to make sure it has been cleaned by the worker bees. Each polished cell is then measured with her front legs. The queen controls the sex of the egg she lays, based on the width of the cell. (Keep in mind, the cell size is created by the worker bees.) Drone (male) cells are significantly larger than worker (female) cells. Once the queen approves the cell, she lowers her abdomen and releases one egg. From this point on, her role as a mom is over. The queen is not involved in the rearing of the young, for that job is left to the female worker bees. As you can see, each member of the colony has a very important role.

Bottom left: The flat cells = female worker bees
Upper right: The cells that look like kix cereal = drone (male) bees

As for my sweet Louise, her apiary legacy lives on through two of her daughters and even a granddaughter. The colonies of these queens continue to follow in Louise’s footsteps with their calmness, massive spring buildup and even strong honey production.

We can learn so much about teamwork from these amazing creatures.

Bee well, Roda

For more information about Indigo Acres Apiary, visit our About Us page.