Background and Research:
Since 2006 Sean McKenzie has been actively researching and caring for honeybees. What started as an academic interest turned to practical knowledge through hands on experience. Sean started by learning conventional beekeeping techniques with a handful of colonies. Within a few short years and with the help of friends and colleagues the number of colonies grew to over 150 and the primary focus had turned from basic beekeeping to honeybee research. His specialty is in colony assessment, queen rearing, and breeding programs based in Mendelian style genetics. His goal in his work is to breed honey bees that are especially well suited to the region in which they are being kept and that have a proven record of survival and productivity to support sustainable apiaries worldwide. Sean has over 20 years of experience with breading and hybridization, focusing on somatic and behavioral characteristics and working with a variety of animals including fish, dogs, birds, and honey bees. He has also had years of experience as a bench researcher conducting honey bee research at the University of District of Columbia, STEM Center for Research and Education. In addition Sean has presented his work in a number of arenas including the National Institute of Science, the National Honors Science Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is currently an apiarist and queen rearing expert with the University of Maryland.
Sean McKenzie is currently the Head Beekeeper at Saint Anselm’s Abbey School Apiary and Manages the teaching Apiary at the Franciscan Monastery, both in DC. He has worked with commercial outfits in Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania in a number of capacities from apprenticeship to advising, queen rearing, building nucs and packages, and honey harvest. He plays an advisory roll on projects in Haiti, Zimbabwe, Columbia and his home country of Jamaica.
Teaching and Outreach:
In addition to teaching courses with Bee CARE Institute Sean is an instructor with DC Beekeepers Alliance and co-teaches an urban beekeeping short course in conjunction with the University of the District of Columbia’s Extension Service program. He has also trained beekeepers in Haiti as a part of the Partners of America, US AID Agriculture Development Program. He regularly engages in community outreach activities such as 4-H junior beekeepers clubs, the supporting the apiary at the National Arboretum, USDA Bee Lab Pavilion at the Smithsonian Folk-life Festival, and a number of events sponsored by the National Parks Department. Not to mention his regular appearance at the White House for the Easter Egg Roll honey bee exhibit and presentation.
He holds a Bachelor of Science with honors in Public Health from the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability, and Environmental Science from the University of the District of Columbia (2014).
Sean is a member of a number of clubs and organizations including being a former VP of the DC Beekeepers Alliance, Eastern Apiculture Society, Coloss International Bee Research Association, and American Apitherapy Society.