The University of Minnesota Bee Veterans program provides free beekeeping education for Minnesota Veterans. Bee Veterans fosters community through hands-on beekeeping training, while promoting the recreational and professional benefits inherent in working with honey bees.
Bee Veterans was founded in honor of Veteran and beekeeper Michael Roche. His strong belief in the therapeutic benefits of beekeeping for returning Veterans inspires us to provide the materials and training necessary to make beekeeping an integral part of Veterans’ lives. Read this article about the Lt Col Michael Roche, the inspiration for the Bee Veterans program. The Bee Veterans program is a partnership of the UMN Bee Squad and the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Bee Veterans Apiaries are located at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and in Rochester, MN.
Typically, we provide Veterans with hands-on beekeeping training. This year, we will talk about bees and pollinators online. The best way to learn about beekeeping is to experience it yourself, so this year we will focus less on practical beekeeping skills and instead dive into some of the reasons bees are so fascinating. We will cover topics like bee biology, planting flowers for all bees, and how a colony defends itself against pathogens. The classes are for Veterans with any level of beekeeping experience, including no experience.
You are a Minnesota Veteran or service member
You are curious about bees and beekeeping
Each online class will be stand-alone. Feel free to join for any or all topics that interest you. There will always be a Q&A at the end of each class so anyone that wants to ask questions will have the opportunity to do so.
Our next class is Sunday, July 12, 2020 from 4:00-5:00pm (cst) and will be hosted by Bee Squad member Jessica Helgen. Three speakers will talk about beekeeping in agriculture:
1. Katie Lee, University of Minnesota Extension Educator and Bee Researcher, will speak about commercial beekeeping and the importance to agriculture.
2. Dan Whitney, commercial beekeeper, past-president of the Minnesota Honey Producers Association, and owner of Whitney Lone Star Queen Co., will talk about commercial beekeeping.
3. Joshua Munoz, Veteran and Bee Squad member, will speak about his work in agriculture education.
If you are interested in learning how to keep bees, see the online classes provided by the UMN Bee Squad’s Mentoring Apiary or join the Minnesota Hobby Beekeepers Association online demonstrations
National Beekeeping for Veterans
The University of Minnesota Bee Squad and Extension has initiated a nation-wide effort for groups and individuals interested in supporting Veterans in beekeeping. Please sign up HERE if you want to be included in this collaboration. We will share updates and opportunities with you.
(Please note Bee Veterans in Special Instructions)