Heroes to Hives: Veterans learn beekeeping
Heroes to Hives is open to all US veterans, active-duty personnel, National Guard, and reservists across the globe.
Students in the hands-on class inspect a hive for varroa mites, a global honey bee pest. Submitted photo
REGION — Heroes to Hives (H2H) is a unique program through Michigan State University Extension that seeks to address financial and personal wellness of veterans through FREE professional training and community development centered around beekeeping. Veterans leave our program with a broad depth of beekeeping knowledge, as well as personal and professional relationships that open up new opportunities and ensure long-term peer support. Our students understand the importance of pollinators in US agriculture and stand to protect managed honey bees through small-scale sustainable beekeeping operations. Registration for the 2021 program closes Feb 28, 2021. The program runs from March to November and the main program is online. Students receive two to six hours of lecture content every month from March-November that is pre-recorded so that they can learn at their own pace. Register at https://www.canr.msu.edu/veterans/veterans-programming/Heroes-to-Hives/index
Heroes to Hives is open to all US veterans, active-duty personnel, National Guard, and reservists across the globe. Whether you are retired at home or active duty far away from home we welcome you to the Heroes to Hives program. Although our curriculum is specifically focused on beekeeping in Michigan veterans in any location will gain valuable knowledge on honey bee biology, colony biology, pest and pathogen management, and overwintering. Out of state students are also welcome to join us at our on-ground classes in Michigan. Since the program began in 2015, H2H has trained nearly 1,000 service members and their dependents from 25 states who currently keep over 4,000 beehives. Alumni go on to start their own beekeeping businesses, keep bees as a hobby and in a few cases, work for commercial beekeepers.
The program’s mission is to safeguard US food security by protecting the most important managed pollinator on the planet.
Students participate in a nine-month comprehensive education program that couples online lectures with hands-on learning in our H2H apiaries locate across Michigan. Students receive two to six hours of lecture content every month from March-November that is pre-recorded so that they can learn at their own pace. Online instruction is then coupled with on-ground training May-October on hive handling, hive inspections, pest and pathogen management, and beekeeping ergonomics nearly every weekend during the beekeeping season at one of our training apiaries located throughout Michigan.
Heroes to Hives is also open to military dependents (spouses and children over the age of 18) of participating veterans only. Dependents are enrolled by the veteran participant at the time of enrollment.