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V.I. Beekeepers Graduate, Plan Winter Honeybee Forum

Feb. 1, 2009 – After 13 weeks of classroom instruction and practical field experience from trainers Francis Jackman, Roniel Allembert, Wanda Wright, Errol Chichester and Julie Beberman, the Virgin Fresh Beekeeping Project St. Croix Class of 2009 has graduated more than 19 beekeepers, several of whom are teenagers. Dr. Jozef Keularts of the UVI Cooperative Extension Service provided lessons on bee biology, pests and diseases of the honeybee; Karen Jones and Deborah St. Clair of the Small Business Development Center instructed the students on business planning, record keeping and writing a business plan; and Daniel Stanley of the Department of Agriculture taught marketing, sales and product packaging, all in an effort to encourage the graduates to start their own small business. Now experienced beekeepers, each graduate is equipped with one or two beehives that will provide the raw materials needed to start their new venture.
Graduate Bruce Graham took the lead in forming the Crucian Beekeepers Network, which has invited experts and professional beekeepers from the states and the Caribbean and organized the first ever Winter Honeybee Forum in conjunction with the 38th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair to be held Feb. 14-17, in Estate Lower Love.
For those with more than a casual interest in honeybees, the Network will hold the first annual Winter Honeybee Forum within walking distance of the fair grounds at the University of the Virgin Islands' Grand Hall. Registration is free
Crucian Beekeepers Network Winter Honeybee Forum Schedule.
Saturday, Feb. 14
10 – 11:30 a.m. Topic: "Creating Orchards and Foraging Fields for Honeybees"
Presenter: Rudy O'Reilly Jr. – U.S. Department of Agriculture
Discuss local trees and flowering plants most favored by honeybees. Session involves identifying a selection of plants that provides an ongoing source of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on; the influence of soil composition, land contouring and water on growing areas; and USDA programs providing aid to farmers.
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Topic: "Identifying Africanized Honeybees Using the FABIS and USDA Protocols"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater and Tom Zimmerman
2 – 3:30 p.m. Topic: "Pests and Pest Control"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater and Toni Downs
Explore the pros and cons of organic and non-organic beekeeping. Session involves identifying techniques and strategies from both approaches, including sugar shakes and eliminating drone cone to control varroa mites.
Sunday, Feb. 15
10 – 11:30 a.m. Topic: "Beekeeping in the Caribbean – Past, Present and Future"
Presenters: Gladstone Solomon, Louis Petersen, Del Pies Miel representative.
Present perspectives on agri-tourism, the business in beekeeping, networking opportunities and co-operative ventures, and future plans.
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Topic: "Establishing Systems for Quality Control"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater, Department of Health, and Del Pies Miel representative.
Discuss issues related to developing protocols for hive inspections and training inspectors; developing standards for constructing and operating honey houses; developing standards for raising and certifying Queens for sale; certifying beekeepers; and identifying minimum standards for manufacturing extended value products.
2 – 3:30 p.m. Topic: "Lip Balms, Bars and Lotions"
Presenter: Toni Downs
An interactive hands-on workshop demonstrating how to make and market value added products. Discuss recipes, techniques and formulas for the entrepreneur and the hobbyist.
Monday, Feb. 16
9 – 10:30 a.m. Topic: "Beekeeping in the Caribbean – Past, Present and Future" Part 2
Presenters: Gladstone Solomon, Carlos Robles, Del Pies Miel representative.
Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S.V.I. share perspectives, techniques and approaches to colony removals, hive management, and population management.
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Topic: "Queens, Splits and Nucs"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater, Francis Jackman
Discuss the ways and means of increasing bee stock, identifying and maintaining desirable traits and characteristic in your bee population.
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Topic: "Creating Orchards and Foraging Fields for Honeybees"
Presenter: David Hamata – USDA
Discuss local trees and flowering plants most favored by honeybees. Session involves identifying a selection of plants that provides an ongoing source of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on. The influence of soil composition, land contouring and water on growing areas. USDA programs providing aid to farmers.
Tuesday, Feb. 17
10 a.m. Topic: "Working with Africanized Honeybees"
This final session will be located at various apiaries located throughout St. Croix. Please bring your own veil and gloves to participate.
For additional information or to confirm attendance at any of the sessions, call Vickie Henson at 642-8791 or e-mail at vickiethiem@yahoo.com.

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Feb. 1, 2009 - After 13 weeks of classroom instruction and practical field experience from trainers Francis Jackman, Roniel Allembert, Wanda Wright, Errol Chichester and Julie Beberman, the Virgin Fresh Beekeeping Project St. Croix Class of 2009 has graduated more than 19 beekeepers, several of whom are teenagers. Dr. Jozef Keularts of the UVI Cooperative Extension Service provided lessons on bee biology, pests and diseases of the honeybee; Karen Jones and Deborah St. Clair of the Small Business Development Center instructed the students on business planning, record keeping and writing a business plan; and Daniel Stanley of the Department of Agriculture taught marketing, sales and product packaging, all in an effort to encourage the graduates to start their own small business. Now experienced beekeepers, each graduate is equipped with one or two beehives that will provide the raw materials needed to start their new venture.
Graduate Bruce Graham took the lead in forming the Crucian Beekeepers Network, which has invited experts and professional beekeepers from the states and the Caribbean and organized the first ever Winter Honeybee Forum in conjunction with the 38th Annual Agriculture and Food Fair to be held Feb. 14-17, in Estate Lower Love.
For those with more than a casual interest in honeybees, the Network will hold the first annual Winter Honeybee Forum within walking distance of the fair grounds at the University of the Virgin Islands' Grand Hall. Registration is free
Crucian Beekeepers Network Winter Honeybee Forum Schedule.
Saturday, Feb. 14
10 - 11:30 a.m. Topic: "Creating Orchards and Foraging Fields for Honeybees"
Presenter: Rudy O'Reilly Jr. – U.S. Department of Agriculture
Discuss local trees and flowering plants most favored by honeybees. Session involves identifying a selection of plants that provides an ongoing source of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on; the influence of soil composition, land contouring and water on growing areas; and USDA programs providing aid to farmers.
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Topic: "Identifying Africanized Honeybees Using the FABIS and USDA Protocols"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater and Tom Zimmerman
2 - 3:30 p.m. Topic: "Pests and Pest Control"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater and Toni Downs
Explore the pros and cons of organic and non-organic beekeeping. Session involves identifying techniques and strategies from both approaches, including sugar shakes and eliminating drone cone to control varroa mites.
Sunday, Feb. 15
10 - 11:30 a.m. Topic: "Beekeeping in the Caribbean – Past, Present and Future"
Presenters: Gladstone Solomon, Louis Petersen, Del Pies Miel representative.
Present perspectives on agri-tourism, the business in beekeeping, networking opportunities and co-operative ventures, and future plans.
Noon - 1:30 p.m. Topic: "Establishing Systems for Quality Control"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater, Department of Health, and Del Pies Miel representative.
Discuss issues related to developing protocols for hive inspections and training inspectors; developing standards for constructing and operating honey houses; developing standards for raising and certifying Queens for sale; certifying beekeepers; and identifying minimum standards for manufacturing extended value products.
2 - 3:30 p.m. Topic: "Lip Balms, Bars and Lotions"
Presenter: Toni Downs
An interactive hands-on workshop demonstrating how to make and market value added products. Discuss recipes, techniques and formulas for the entrepreneur and the hobbyist.
Monday, Feb. 16
9 - 10:30 a.m. Topic: "Beekeeping in the Caribbean - Past, Present and Future" Part 2
Presenters: Gladstone Solomon, Carlos Robles, Del Pies Miel representative.
Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and the U.S.V.I. share perspectives, techniques and approaches to colony removals, hive management, and population management.
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Topic: "Queens, Splits and Nucs"
Presenters: Stephanie Tarwater, Francis Jackman
Discuss the ways and means of increasing bee stock, identifying and maintaining desirable traits and characteristic in your bee population.
1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Topic: "Creating Orchards and Foraging Fields for Honeybees"
Presenter: David Hamata - USDA
Discuss local trees and flowering plants most favored by honeybees. Session involves identifying a selection of plants that provides an ongoing source of nectar and pollen for bees to feed on. The influence of soil composition, land contouring and water on growing areas. USDA programs providing aid to farmers.
Tuesday, Feb. 17
10 a.m. Topic: "Working with Africanized Honeybees"
This final session will be located at various apiaries located throughout St. Croix. Please bring your own veil and gloves to participate.
For additional information or to confirm attendance at any of the sessions, call Vickie Henson at 642-8791 or e-mail at vickiethiem@yahoo.com.