Bee Veterans

Bee VeteransBee 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.  The Bee Veterans program is a partnership of the UMN Bee Squad and the Metropolitan Airports Commission.  The Bee Veterans Apiary is located at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport.

Bee Veterans functions as free beekeeping workshops for veterans and service members. Participants will be provided with protective clothing and tools, and will work with UMN Bee Squad beekeepers to learn about bees and to try their hands at working in the hives.

During class, participants will learn to

  • enter a colony safely, minimizing disruption to the bees and stings to the beekeeper
  • check for the queen and evaluate her health and quality
  • quantify food resources such as nectar, pollen, and honey in the hive
  • support honey bees, bumblebees, and native bees with pollinator habitat
  • prepare the hives to successfully survive the winter
  • harvest and extract honey

Program Requirements

  • You are a U.S. veteran or service member
  • You are curious about bees and beekeeping
  • You preregister for any class you plan to attend
  • You wear light colored pants, socks and shoes to class. You will be provided with protection for your face and arms.

Bee Veterans

Please note that beekeeping involves using smoke, and a risk of getting stung! Our Veterans Apiary is in close proximity to planes taking off and landing. If you are interested in attending a class but are concerned about any of these items, please contact the Bee Squad before signing up: beesquad@umn.edu.

Register for Beekeeping for Veterans 2019

Support Bee Veterans (please note Bee Veterans in Special Instructions)