Farm | Nature

How Kiawah River’s Wildflower Fields are Helping its Bees

If you are a nature-lover like so many of our Kiawah River residents, it’s time to make a beeline to the community’s bountiful wildflower fields. Stretching as far as three miles, these fields are home to hundreds of thousands of flowers that serve as a haven for native wildlife and provide vibrant beauty and a gorgeous aroma to the community. Kiawah River’s Chief Environmental Officer, Jeff Snyder, manages various environmental initiatives on the land, and the wildflower fields are one of his many projects. 

And luckily, where there are flowers, there are bees, and in true Kiawah River fashion, the bees are encouraged to take a load off and make themselves at home.  

These vital pollinators are needed to help plants reproduce, and different species of flowers provide different types of nectar for the community’s bees and insects, which is why Kiawah River’s wildflower fields are so essential. For example, a monarch butterfly will only eat milkweed, so ensuring that there is a variety of plants in the fields will help the surrounding environments thrive.  

Bees don’t stop at helping plants. In fact, bees and humans work together in many ways to help each other survive. Not only do bees pollinate flowers, but they also pollinate a large majority of the food we eat, such as apples, broccoli, strawberries, asparagus and other crops found at Kiawah River Farm. 

Kiawah River originally had six hives on the property, each housing up to 50,000 bees. Since planting the wildflowers, the community also partnered with Edisto Honey, which provided 40 additional hives that will soon welcome more than two million bees to the property. While that may sound like a lot of work, Kiawah River is lucky enough to have Chuck Hudspeth, its own expert beekeeper, who ensures that the hives are protected, nurtured and cared for.  

Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit these new wildflower fields and explore the different types of flowers, bees and insects that call this space home and keep Kiawah River buzzing.