Bee Veterans

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. 

Program Requirements:

  • You are a Minnesota Veteran or service member
  • You are curious about bees and beekeeping
register online



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 if you want to be included in this collaboration. We will share updates and opportunities with you.

support bee veterans
(Please note Bee Veterans in Special Instructions)


man of honor
camo painted hive