Bee Mindful Weekend

  May 3rd-5th, 2013

Set upon 5,500 acres of pristine lands, we are continually reminded of the benefits of a healthy planet, and are committed to helping everyone to Bee Mindful of the environment. A member of the Register of Green Hotels, we are spreading awareness of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), an epidemic among bee populations that threatens our food supply. For the last year, Skytop Lodge has been distributing wildflower seeds to support honeybees as well as sharing information on how we can positively impact our environment.

This spring, we are very excited to present our first Bee Mindful Weekend. There will be a screening of the award winning documentary Vanishing of the Bees which follows commercial as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capitol Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees. This weekend we’ll also be breaking ground on our wildflower garden and we invite our guests and Skytop homeowners to join us for this occasion.

Throughout the weekend, guests will enjoy nature hikes with our naturalists who’ll lead excursions through our protected lands while sharing their vast knowledge of the various ecosystems on the grounds.

Contact Person: Rick Koval  Ext 8925 or naturalist@skytop.com

Schedule of Events

Friday May 3
  • Wild Teas & Wild Honey- " Sample Some of Skytop's Unique Wild Teas and Nature's Sweetest Treats!"
  • Afternoon Nature Hike "Nature in the Poconos Along the Upper Falls"
  • PowerPoint Program  "The Hidden Treasures of Skytop Lodge"
  • Special Daily Feature Video "Vanishing of the  Bees"

Saturday, May 4
  • Edible Plant Walk - "Pick Your Salad With Wild Greens and Trailside Nibbles"
  • Bees and Blossoms - "Tour of Skytop Gardens" 
  • Honey Bees in Action -  "See an Active Honeybee Hive" 
  • Wild Teas & Wild Honey- " Sample Some of Skytop's Unique Wild Teas and Nature's Sweetest Treats!"
  • Live Reptile and Amphibian Show -"Get Up-close With Creepy Critters and Slithering Snakes"
  • Wildlife Auto-Safari
  • Nighttime Nature Hike
  • Special Daily Feature Video "Vanishing of the Bees"


Sunday, May 5
  • How to Take the Sting Out of Beekeeping
  • Visit to Skytop's Wildflower Meadow -  " Bee Mindful and Bee Aware of Nature's Pollinators "
  • Late Afternoon Nature Hike - "Falling for Waterfalls"
  • Special Daily Feature Video "Vanishing of the  Bees"



Program Descriptions

Friday May 3

4 p.m.-  Wild Teas & Wild Honey -  " Sample Some of Skytop's Unique Wild Teas and Nature's Sweetest Treats!"
This is Skytop's famous tea time taken to another level!  Sample a variety of wild beverages brewed by the tea-making tandem of Skytop's resident naturalist Rick Koval and guest naturalist Stan Galenty, aka the  "Brews Brothers."  Stan and Rick will be your host during this popular presentation and have available a variety of freshly brewed teas made from wild plants found throughout Skytop Lodge and the Poconos. Also, local beekeepers -Bob and Vicki Armstrong will have available their locally produced wild honey to sample as well as for sale. The "Brews Brothers" will have wild plants on exhibit and demonstrate how to make unique teas and drinks from various species such as Labrador Tea, New Jersey Tea, Sweet Fern and Teaberry, along with their favorites - "Pocono Sumac Tea" which tastes like pink lemonade and "Sassafras Syrup" which tastes like melted root beer candies . During this hands-on program, you can steep you own wild concoction and sample other tasty varieties and some of the sweetest honey in the Poconos.   Meet at the Pine Room.

5:30 p.m. - Afternoon Nature Hike "Nature in the Poconos"
Join Skytop's resident naturalist and local television personality Rick Koval on a guided nature hike on the Upper Falls Trail. Along the way to see the beautiful Upper Falls, Rick will unveil a myriad of nature. Your senses will be invigorated by the sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of the Poconos. Fragrant wildflowers, colorful salamanders, melodious birds and a variety of live glistening fish are all in store during this adventure.  As a special surprise, Rick will demonstrate his mystifying  "fire ball" display from the use of a common forest plant.  Allow 1 hour.  Meet at the North Porch.
 
9 p.m. - "The Hidden Treasures of Skytop Lodge" by Skytop naturalist and local television personality Rick Koval.
Skytop Lodge is known for its fine dining, fabulous accommodations and tranquil settings, all nestled within the scenic Pocono Mountains.   Rick's program takes you on an virtual tour deep into Skytop's remote forests, blueberry swamps and glacial bogs; on the edge of jagged cliffs and overlooks; amongst a den of rattlesnakes; and underwater beneath our clear mountain brooks, cascading waterfalls and pristine lakes. Along with newborn whitetail deer fawns, baby porcupines and secretive owls, there's a plethora of rarely seen or photographed, endangered plants and animals thriving at Skytop.  Rick's PowerPoint program unveils these hidden treasures.  
Allow 1 hour.  Meet in the Laurel Room

Special Daily Feature Video- "Vanishing of the Bees"
This documentary narrated by Emily Fox (better known as Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness) unfolds the alarming dilemma called "colony collapse," which has dramatically impacted honeybees throughout North America.  Emily explains why bees are important pollinators of most ever vegetable and fruit we consume and without their "free service" to mankind, a starving world is inevitable.  A very eye-opening and fascinating movie. Allow 87-minutes.  To be presented in the Laurel Lounge throughout the day.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Saturday, May 4

9:15 a.m.-  "Edible Plant Walk with guest naturalist Stan Galenty and Skytop resident naturalist Rick Koval
Hungry for some wild greens or a trail-side nibble?  Let's venture along Skytop Lake with Stan and Rick in search of wild edible plants. The tandem of woodland survivalists will identify dozens of species, which are safe to eat as well as a few poisonous plants.  Smell, feel and taste a part of nature and learn which wild plants are used to make teas, cooked vegetables, jellies, wines and even pancake flour.  Allow 90 minutes
Meet at the North Porch
 
11 a.m. - Bees and Blossoms -  "Tour of Skytop Gardens" 
Enjoy a casual and delightful stroll into Skytop's beautiful flower gardens and ornamental landscape areas with guest naturalist Stan Galenty and Skytop's resident naturalist and local television personality Rick Koval. Stan and Rick will search for various types of bees and other important flower pollinators including butterflies, moths, beetles and flies, which regularly dine of Skytop's colorful plant buffet.
Allow 1 hour. Meet at the North Porch.
 
2 p.m. - Honey Bees in Action -  "See an Active Honeybee Hive" 
Learn and see the mysterious and fascinating world of honey bees presented by guest beekeepers  Bob and Vicki Armstrong of Monroe County. Bob and Vicki have been beekeeping since 2001 and are quite experienced in the sweet subject. They are members of the Monroe County Beekeeper's Association, which Bob served as President. Bob and Vicki will offer an educational PowerPoint program about the world of beekeeping, wild honey, and the threats which are happening to bee colonies.  Afterwards, Bob and Vicki will have a live honeybee exhibit on display.
Allow 90 minutes.  Meet in the Laurel Room

4 p.m.-  Wild Teas & Wild Honey -  " Sample Some of Skytop's Unique Wild Teas and Nature's Sweetest Treats!"
This is Skytop's famous tea time taken to another level!  Sample a variety of wild beverages brewed by the tea-making tandem of Skytop's resident naturalist Rick Koval and guest naturalist Stan Galenty, aka the  "Brews Brothers."  Stan and Rick will be your host during this popular presentation and have available a variety of freshly brewed teas made from wild plants found throughout Skytop Lodge and the Poconos. Also, local beekeepers -Bob and Vicki Armstrong will have available their locally produced wild honey to sample as well as for sale. The "Brews Brothers" will have wild plants on exhibit and demonstrate how to make unique teas and drinks from various species such as Labrador Tea, New Jersey Tea, Sweet Fern and Teaberry, along with their favorites - "Pocono Sumac Tea" which tastes like pink lemonade and "Sassafras Syrup" which tastes like melted root beer candies . During this hands-on program, you can steep you own wild concoction and sample other tasty varieties and some of the sweetest honey in the Poconos.   Meet at the Pine Room.

8:30 p.m. - Live Reptile and Amphibian Show -"Get Up-close With Creepy Critters and Slithering Snakes"
Get up close and personal with Rick 's collection of wild snakes, frogs, salamanders and turtle. Learn about these fascinating reptiles and amphibians that reside in the Poconos and their role in the environment. You'll get to hold "Shelly" the box turtle, "Hyla" the gray tree frog, "Bonnie" the gigantic bullfrog, "Blackie" the 7-foot long black rat snake, but unfortunately only look at but not touch "Justin Timbersnake"   the venomous timber rattlesnake. Fun for everyone, including  Rick's critters as some will eat tasty tidbits right before your eyes.  Kids wanted and make sure to bring a camera. Allow 1 hour
Meet at the Laurel Room. 
 
10pm - "Wildlife Safari and Nighttime Auto Tour" with Skytop naturalist Jackie Speicher
Join Jackie on a nighttime auto safari armed with powerful spotlights.  Help Jackie scan the nighttime horizon throughout Skytop Lodge and golf course in search of whitetail deer and other nocturnal mammals. This is a fun and exciting evening adventure.
Allow 90 minutes.  Call to reserve a seat on the van

10 p.m.-  "Nighttime Nature Hike For Things That Go Bump in the Night" with naturalists Rick Koval and Stan Galenty
Join Rick and Stan on a nighttime hike into a eerie, remote  forest.  We'll pierce through the darkness along the trail and use our PETZEL headlamps and flashlights to explore “the things that go bump in the night.” Rick and Stan will visit hidden vernal pools and streams in search of frogs, salamanders, fish and whatever thing they bump into.
Allow 90 minutes.  Call to reserve a seat on the van

Special Daily Feature Video- "Vanishing of the Bees"
This documentary narrated by Emily Fox (better known as Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness) unfolds the alarming dilemma called "colony collapse," which has dramatically impacted honeybees throughout North America.  Emily explains why bees are important pollinators of most ever vegetable and fruit we consume and without their "free service" to mankind, a starving world is inevitable.  A very eye-opening and fascinating movie. Allow 87-minutes.  To be presented in the Laurel Lounge throughout the day.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sunday, August 19


10 a.m. How to Take the Sting Out of Beekeeping
Skytop's guest beekeepers Bob and Vicki Armstrong will demonstrate how to safely keep bees used for the production of wild honey.  Bob and Vicki's presentation will show the various types of beekeeping equipment needed for starting a bee colony, the personal safety equipment needed to approach and handle bee colonies and how to produce honey. There will be a live honeybee exhibit on display. This is a very informative presentation for all audiences.  Allow 90 minutes. Meet at the Laurel Room.
 
2 p.m.-  Visit to Skytop's Wildflower Meadow -  "Bee Mindful and Bee Aware of Nature's Pollinators"
Join naturalists Rick and Stan on a tour to Skytop's newly created "Wildflower Meadow" and "No Mow Zone" location along Dutch Hill Road near the Rhododendron Swamp Trail. We'll "bee mindful" that honeybees, butterflies and moths are important pollinators of wildflowers and "bee aware' that these special insects require varieties of flowering plants in order to survive and remember, "When you mow, there's no place for the bees to go?"
Allow 1 hour.  Meet at the North Porch.
 
4:30 p.m. - Afternoon Nature Hike- "Falling for Waterfalls"
What better way to conclude a phenomenal weekend of nature than on casual hike to see the beautiful Indian Ladder Falls with Skytop naturalists Rick Koval and Jackie Speicher.  Along the way to the falls, Rick and Jackie will guide you along the Trout Stream Trail and share with you their knowledge of wildlife, wildflowers and everything else in-between. 
Allow 90 minutes. Call to reserve a seat on the van.

Special Daily Feature Video- "Vanishing of the Bees"
This documentary narrated by Emily Fox (better known as Nikki Alexander in Silent Witness) unfolds the alarming dilemma called "colony collapse," which has dramatically impacted honeybees throughout North America.  Emily explains why bees are important pollinators of most ever vegetable and fruit we consume and without their "free service" to mankind, a starving world is inevitable.  A very eye-opening and fascinating movie. Allow 87-minutes.  To be presented in the Laurel Lounge throughout the day.
For more information on Vanishing of the Bees please visit their website: www.vanishingbees.com.

Vanishing of the Bees