Top-Bar Beekeeping

21 Jan

For my second practical experience for the sustainable food concentration I decided to pursue an internship at a farm in rural Jamaica that does top-bar beekeeping. I am staying with Kwao and Agape Adams and their five sons, where I share a cabin with fellow intern, Kaat, right by the Caribbean Sea. Thus far, I have experienced building hives, inspecting and feeding bees, splitting colonies, transporting bees, preparing a new apiary, and traveling the island with beekeepers from the U.S. who train local beekeepers about top-bar techniques. Image                    Kaat and I holding comb while inspecting a hive.

Some things that make this internship incredibly unique:

1) It is a natural beekeeping internship.  Finding an internship opportunity with bees is fairly difficult, and to work on a farm that uses no chemical pesticides and only natural techniques is rare and amazing.

2) You can apply to come to the farm on dates that work for you.  Have plans for half the summer but want another learning experience for the other half? You can apply to come to Yerba Buena in a way that fits your schedule.  Along that vein..

3) You can come during J-term! January at Smith is…cold.  It is currently 90*F in Jamaica and sunny. It can also be hard to find opportunities during J-term.

4) Interns are required to keep a blog, which is excellent because it keeps a detailed record of what you do each day in picture and words, and can be used to illustrate your experience when applying for other internships and jobs.

5) The family eats strictly vegan (minus honey).  Many of my friends who are vegan have difficulty finding good food while traveling, but here we eat superbly well.

For more information you can check out my blog or visit Yerba Buena’s website.

-Haley Crockett, ’15
Haley is a rising Junior from Lamont House.  She is an American studies major, English minor, and a sustainable food concentrator.

One Response to “Top-Bar Beekeeping”


  1. Haley’s Blog Posting on Smith College’s Website | Yerba Buena Farm Jamaica - February 28, 2014

    […] Haley’s Blog Posting on Smith College’s Website […]

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