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. In 2021, we talked about bees and pollinators online. The best way to learn about beekeeping is to experience it yourself, so our goal is to move back to in-person classes in 2022. Classes are for Veterans with any level of beekeeping experience, including no experience.
Program requirements: 1) you are a Minnesota Veteran or service member, 2) you are curious about bees and beekeeping, and 3) anyone entering the apiary must be 18 years of age or older. Email [email protected] to request to be added to our Bee Veterans email list and be notified when the trainings will occur.
Partnership with Michigan State University's Heroes to Hives
If you are a US Veteran and interested in learning about beekeeping through an online self-paced course, then consider registering for the free Heroes to Hives course. If you are based in Minnesota, you can sign up for the Minnesota-based hands-on trainings when you register. See the Heroes to Hives website for additional information and to register.
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.