Fairfax Co. kids help bring ‘sweet relief’ to beekeepers on US Virgin Islands

Save the Bees Inc., started by 14-year-old Quentin Adolfe and his 12-year-old sister Jasmine, have already raised more than $28,000 to help beekeepers on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their goal is to raise $150,000. (Courtesy Adolphe family)
Save the Bees Inc., started by 14-year-old Quentin Adolfe and his 12-year-old sister Jasmine, have already raised more than $28,000 to help beekeepers on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their goal is to raise $150,000. (Courtesy Adolphe family) (Courtesy Adolphe family)
Before Hurricane Irma struck, Wayne Clendinen works at his roadside business to prepare honey to sell. Clendinen is one of the bee keepers being assisted by the Save The Bees Inc. campaign. (Courtesy Eliza Margas)
Before Hurricane Irma struck, Wayne Clendinen works at his roadside business to prepare honey to sell. Clendinen is one of the bee keepers being assisted by the Save The Bees Inc. campaign. (Courtesy Eliza Margas) (Courtesy Eliza Margas)
On the Island of St. John, Gerald Charles holds metal racks bees will use as a frame work for their hives. Charles is one of the first recipients of Save The Bees Inc. equipment and supplies donated by the non-profit’s Bring Back Beekeepers of St. John campaign. (Courtesy Sharon Calderon)
On the Island of St. John, Gerald Charles holds metal racks bees will use as a frame work for their hives. Charles is one of the first recipients of Save The Bees Inc. equipment and supplies donated by the nonprofit’s Bring Back Beekeepers of St. John campaign. (Courtesy Sharon Calderon) (Courtesy Sharon Calderon)
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Save the Bees Inc., started by 14-year-old Quentin Adolfe and his 12-year-old sister Jasmine, have already raised more than $28,000 to help beekeepers on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Their goal is to raise $150,000. (Courtesy Adolphe family)
Before Hurricane Irma struck, Wayne Clendinen works at his roadside business to prepare honey to sell. Clendinen is one of the bee keepers being assisted by the Save The Bees Inc. campaign. (Courtesy Eliza Margas)
On the Island of St. John, Gerald Charles holds metal racks bees will use as a frame work for their hives. Charles is one of the first recipients of Save The Bees Inc. equipment and supplies donated by the non-profit’s Bring Back Beekeepers of St. John campaign. (Courtesy Sharon Calderon)

WASHINGTON — You might call this a “sweet” story.

It involves honey, bees and two kids from Fairfax County, Virginia, who’ve raised more than $28,000 for hurricane relief on the U.S. Virgin Islands as they recover from back-to-back Category-5 hurricanes that hit in 2017.

Twelve-year-old Jasmine Adolfe and her 14-year-old brother Quentin both attend Potomac School in McLean, Virginia. They started Save The Bees, Inc. in the summer and launched the Bring Back the Beekeepers of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands campaign to help beekeepers on the island.

“I think it’s really important that we’re helping them because they lost everything,” Jasmine said about the campaign.

Before the hurricanes slammed into St. John, beekeeping was big on the island partially because of the unique flavor of the honey.

“It had more of a lime and mango taste, because the bees pollinated all kinds of different fruits,” Quentin said.

The campaign announced its first shipment of equipment and supplies arrived on the island Feb. 3.

To help jump start an ecosystem laid bare by hurricanes, campaign donations are used to plant an acre of flowers and plants.

Donations are also used to buy new hives and equipment for five bee keepers who are paid $15 a day.

“Stipends just to allow them to keep their lives going,” Quentin said.

Jasmine’s interest in bees began when she was in 3rd grade and learned about colony collapse disorder.

The siblings were studying that issue during a family trip to St. John last year when they met a local beekeeper who is among those their campaign is working to help.

“Feels really good, that we’re actually making a difference in the beekeepers’ lives,” Jasmine said.

The Bring Back Beekeepers campaign has a goal of raising $150,000 to help 25 St. John bee keepers get back in business.

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