News release: Bee Clubs

Tim Baker, MU Extension Horticulture Specialist
102 N. Main, Suite 1, Gallatin, MO 64640

Release Date: September 3, 2015

Headline: Bee Clubs

There have been many news articles in recent years about the problems that our honeybees are facing.  Numbers are declining due to several issues, the most prominent being Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  The unfortunate thing about CCD is that no one is really sure what is causing it, although a number of theories have been proposed.

Although wild honeybee populations are making a comeback in a few places, we still don’t have enough bees.  Bees are critical for pollinating many crops. One way to increase the bee population is for more people to become beekeepers.

Here at MU Extension, we have been pursuing this goal for some time. We work with local beekeepers to hold meetings about beekeeping.  I’m always amazed at the turnout… there are a lot of interested potential beekeepers out there. We also hold bee workshops at meetings such as the Great Plains Growers Conference.

Another great way for potential beekeepers to learn the art and craft of beekeeping is to join a local bee club.  New members can get off to a good start by learning from experienced beekeepers.

In our Northwest MU Extension Region, there are two bee clubs: The Northwest Missouri Bee Busters in Maryville, and the Swarm Chasers in St. Joseph. Close to our region are the Midwestern Beekeepers Association in Kansas City, and the North Central Missouri Beekeepers Association in Macon.  All of these groups are members of the Missouri State Beekeepers Association.

We may soon have a new bee club in our region. Bud Motsinger, a long-time beekeeper in Caldwell County, is interested in starting a new bee club in Braymer, Missouri. An organizational meeting will be held on Saturday, September 19, at the American Legion in Braymer.  The meeting will start at 2:00 PM.

At the meeting, Bud will give a presentation on beekeeping basics, with plenty of time for questions. New or experienced beekeepers are welcome.  Bud also hopes to attract youth who might have an interest in bees, such as 4-H members and FFA students.

A representative from Crooked Hill Beekeeping Supply of Chillicothe will also be there to answer questions and help with equipment needs.

If you would like further information on this meeting or any other bee clubs in Missouri, please give me a call at 660-663-3232.