James Key is the Director-at-large on the VBA board of directors.
Education: B.A. from Norwich University, Self-Designed Major, with focus on Ethno-Botanicals and their Healing Properties.
"I've been published with a couple of articles related to the subject. Before my present career, I was in the food industry, selling food to all of the Hannaford stores in Chittenden county. Also, supplying the now largest health food stores, Healthy Living and City Market.
Over the last 9 years before Covid, I worked in the lab at UVM Medical Center. My work there ended when the outbreak began, during the Spring of that year. While working at the Hospital, my interest in beekeeping began, out of trying to solve the problem of why there wasn't a presence of honey bees around my garden.
"I began over the winter of 2017 to seriously focus on my quest. I started in the spring of 2018 taking a class from a woman in Williamstown and, during that same year, joined the VBA.
"I met Ross Conrad a year later and was met with a promise to share at any time the knowledge of Beekeeping. He offered not only that but free classes because of his knowledge of my finances and his inspiration to see me become Vermont's first, African-American Certified Beekeeper.
"With his help and the others who have become great mentors, Andrew Munkres, Michael Palmer, and including Bill Mares, I've achieved
my Vermont BeeKeeper's Certification two years. ago.
"I've been using bees from Andrew Munkres since and will continue to work with them. I use his technique and other IPM techniques, developing them as I gain knowledge.
I use knowledge from Ross, Bill, Mike's double Nuc method and books recommended. The list of things learned and being learned is continuing to grow.
"I'm a full-time beekeeper, with hopes to build up from the 11 hives, to 25 next year. I currently am living in Stockbridge, VT. I'm a registered Bee Farm Business and Licensed Caterer."