Former Peace Corps Volunteer Ann Bruce, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Tom Hebert and Yerba Buena Farm collaborated to start this natural beekeeping club in 2012. The training apiary was made possible through a grant from the USAID/Peace Corps Small Project Assistance program. This is the only sustainable top bar beekeeping cub in Jamaica. It has been wonderful to see the kids’ skills develop over time.
One of goals of the Robins Bay Bee Club is to train local families to keep bees as a sideline income producer. We have a Club apiary of ten top bar hives that we use for training the members. The original colonies will stay in the hives, but as members are skilled enough to care for their own bees at home, we will split the colonies and give the families their own bees. Hives are donated by Yerba Buena Farm.
Rachal, Videa, Kevaughn, Kevaughnna and Kevardo are long-time local members of the Bee Club. Rachal has participated in USAID/Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer trainings around the island, and now leads many Bee Club activities. Videa is the Treasurer of the Club, and Kevaughnna is the Secretary.
Their family received the first Club bee donation, and has been caring for the bees since this summer. When we split more of the bees in this build-up season, they will get an additional hive and colony.
To support their beekeeping effort, Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer Melanie Kirby arranged a donation of bee suit and smoker from Kelley Beekeeping, an American beekeeping equipment supplier.
Thank you too everyone who participates in and supports the Robins Bay Bee Club!