Beekeeping Classes to Improve Honey Production and Pollination

 

University of Missouri Extension has partnered with the Missouri Vegetable Growers Association on a 2-year educational project to improve honey production and pollinator availability throughout the state.  Funds for this project were provided through the United States Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Grant program with local administration through the Missouri Department of Agriculture. The purpose of the Specialty Crop Grant program is to “solely enhance the competiveness of specialty crops” in the state of Missouri. Beekeeping is currently a rapidly growing industry in Missouri with honey sales in excess of $1million annually and indirect economic impact from crop pollination in excess of $80 million.

Beginning beekeeping classes will be held at 6 locations around the state in winter 2014/2015 with the purpose of getting new beekeepers started in the industry.  Advanced beekeeping classes will be held at an additional 6 locations in winter 2015/2016 with the purpose of increasing honey roduction and managing honey bee colony health through the adoption of integrated pest management practices.  There will also be two beekeeping field days (one in summer 2015, one in summer 2016) and a special beekeeping workshop at the Great Plains Grower’s Conference at St. Joseph in 2016.  A secondary goal of the project is to increase the availability of beehives for use in the production of commercial vegetable crops, another rapidly growing industry in the state. For more information on the availability of these classes in your area, contact your county extension office.                                 

Source:  Travis Harper, Agronomy Specialist