Virgin Fresh: An island beekeeping initiative – Images by Kathryn Wagner
This past winter I was fortuante to document an island wide beekeeping initiative on St. John. I was interested in the effort and the class because it attempts to tackle a unique problem to the islands: what can you do in a rural area with little land for agriculture? Tourism is definitely the island’s mainstay industry, but beekeeping is a small, yet unique solution, to the lack of local goods available. Bee hives do not require a large amount of land and they have a highly diversified portfolio of potential end products. Thus an interested bee farmer could have many hive on just one acre of land and host their own small industry in their backyard. The class was ten weeks long, and highly attended by many interested locals, who have gone on to begin raising their own hives. My hopes are with the many beekeepers that local honey, candles and beauty products – not to mention a new industry – will soon become available as a result of a beekeeper’s efforts.