St. John Beekeepers Enjoy Workshop with Beekeeping Expert and Author


Left to Right: Judy Kane, author Michael Bush, Elissa Runyon, Elmo Rabsatt.

Beekeepers, whether novice, experts, hobbyists, or just lovers of bees were given the opportunity to better understand bees on St. John at the Coral Bay Agriculture Station on Saturday, April 6. 

The workshop was sponsored by the V.I. Department of Agriculture through the Specialty Crop Block Grant in partnership with the Virgin Islands Network of Beekeepers (St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas) and the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension Services.

St. John was fortunate to have been selected to host the workshop for  both St. Thomas and St. John,  through the efforts of Elmo Rabsatt working with  Charles Barry of St. Thomas, and Toni Downs and Wanda Wright of St. Croix. The St. Croix workshop took place on Saturday, April 13.

The theme of the workshop was “Increasing Productivity and Profitability” through improved colony management. The workshop presenter was Michael Bush, a much sought after conference speaker and nationally known author of “The Practical Beekeeper.”    St. Croix beekeeper Toni Downs was also present to share her knowledge.

Those in attendance learned about common issues in beekeeping, experiments in swarm control, queen rearing for the small-scale beekeeper, unnatural beekeeping, beekeeping fallacies and more.

Having the workshop on St. John allowed locals the opportunity for individual consultation visits of their hives or business operations, and as a plus, those at the workshop received autographs on their copies of “The Practical Beekeeper” by the author.

One never has enough knowledge; sharing success and failures with fellow islanders and those from other places is a path toward improvement of all.