As the recipient of the 2020 Randolph County Business of the Year Award, Stephanie Bender knows a little something about bees. She is the owner and operator of S&T’s Bees, located in downtown Elkins, West Virginia, and is mainly responsible for the company’s growth over the last ten years. 

Bender is as enthusiastic about beekeeping as she was at the beginning. Now, with the opening of the downtown storefront, she’s been able to cultivate a new passion – helping others pursue their dreams. 

The store offers a variety of beekeeping materials and operational equipment. S&T’s Bees is known for its high-quality selection of bees (and queen bee), woodenware, such as box parts and frames, smokers, protective equipment, and bee hives. The store also offers several local and handcrafted items.

She cites necessity as the reason for opening the storefront. 

“There weren’t many options for purchasing beekeeping equipment in the state,” said Bender. 

Part and parcel with equipment sales, S&T’s Bees offers many classes, courses, and workshops for interested patrons, beginners, and seasoned beekeepers looking for a refresher. Professional instructors teach classes and workshops. 

As someone who stumbled upon beekeeping without any intention of pursuing a career in it, Bender hopes the store can become a beekeeping destination for the unassuming and curious. 

Bender is a lover of all things Elkins, a small town in Randolph County. She has seen the local economy grow up alongside her, and she is excited for the future of the downtown experience. 

The stores surrounding S&T’s Bees have remained a steady source of encouragement to Bender and the store’s success. 

“I’m ready to do this until retirement,” laughed Bender. 

If you’d like to keep up with Stephanie and S&T’s Bees, you can visit  

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  • PIECE OF ADVICE:Sometimes you just have to do it,” advised Bender.