Bees in Prison

bees in prison

Mentoring Incarcerated Persons

beekeeping in prison

The unrecorded history of mentoring incarcerated persons goes back to Dr. Basil Furgala, who corresponded with inmates about honey bee management.  When Marla Spivak came to the University of Minnesota, she was surprised to receive letters from a few of those folks and happily answered their questions via mail.

In 2018, the Department of Corrections reached out to the Bee Lab to start in-person mentoring at Faribault and Willow River Correctional Facilities. Since that time, the Bee Squad team has taught season-long, in-person classes to groups at both places.  The program has been well received, with waiting lists and even transfer requests from other facilities. The Faribault program donates their harvest to the local food shelf as part of their restitution program.

Watch the Fox 9 News story about the Bees in Prison program

mpr bees in prison story

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North Central IPM Center Logo

This work is/was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Crop Protection and Pest Management Program through the North Central IPM Center (2023-70006-41331).