Meet Wanda Wright

Wanda Wright was afraid of bees so she did what would seem an odd thing – she became a beekeeper. It made no sense to be afraid of what is around her, she says. Wright decided to become mindful of them, respect them and be in tune with them.

And honey bees play an important role in our own survival, she points out. “No bee no we,” Wright says. “Without apiculture there is no agriculture.”

As an educator, Wanda feels the need to tell people about honey bees and the development of apiculture, which is the care and raising of bees for commercial and agricultural purposes. In the Virgin Fresh Beekeeping project in the Department of Agriculture, she teaches safety and the production of honey or wax products.

Wanda started beekeeping about 15 years ago at her home on the east end of St. Croix. The bees gather pollen and nectar from manjack, wild sage, neem, genip, cashew and ginger Thomas on her property.“St. Croix is perfect for honeybees since there aren’t a lot of chemicals around,” Wanda says. She added the honeybees on St. Croix are a very strong disease resistant type of bee.

Bees need to be respected and managed thoughtful, she says. If there are too many bees in an area, they may starve and risk upsetting the balance of nature. Wanda describes the world of honey bees as efficient and beautiful.

Wanda loves to make mead, wine, vinegar, and body care products. Wanda doesn’t drink alcohol but makes Crucian Mead from honey and water. It has the sweet taste of the honey with a little hint of flowers. For delectable fermented wine she adds fruits such as mango and carambola. She captured the essence and flavor of sweet mangoes in a wine that isn’t too sweet. She has perfected formulas and recipes, keeps files and shares them with new beekeepers.

When Wanda is not busy with her bees at the W-RIGHT Apiary or on calls smoking bees out of homes and businesses.

Meet Kareem Francis

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