Robins Bay Bee Club
The Robins Bay Bee Club was started in 2012 with the help of local Peace Corps Volunteer Ann Bruce and USAID Farmer-to-Farmer/Partners of the Americas trainer Tom Hebert. The goal of the Club is to provide a vehicle for local families – kids and adults- to learn about top bar sustainable beekeeping and to graduate to having an apiary of their own at home. Their own honey-producing apiary can provide a valuable source of sideline income in our rural area.
Since the start of the program, the USAID-funded Small Project Assistance program funded the start of a ten-hive training apiary for the Club. Part of the Club’s mandate is to provide bees from this training apiary to seed the new apiaries of members. So far, we have been able to give hives to three families, with bees provided by the Club, and hives donated by Yerba Buena Farm.
Bee Club members have attended workshops in candle making, top bar hive management, using propolis, making healing salves, beekeeping around the world, building top bar hives, understanding bee biology and society, wax rendering, making honey wine vinegar and much more. Through the USAID/Partners of the Americas Farmer-to-Farmer program, members have been exposed to and have learned from trainers who are experts in their fields, from top bar hive beekeepers to mead makers.
In 2015, we plan to provide more intense training and support to bee club members, to provide bees to more members from training apiary splits, and to participate in (and win!) 4-H club competitions.
Please click here to read our blog posting about the first hive donation to one of our Bee Club members.
Here is a link to our intern Haley’s description of a Robins Bay Bee Club day at the farm.
And here is a blog posting from intern Kaat about a different Robins Bay Bee Club meeting.