honeybees and comb

Beekeeper education and training is critical to Florida’s large honey industry

In *All, Agricultural Systems, Food Security, Pollinator Week by AgIsAmerica

Honey bees contribute nearly $20 billion to the crop industry by providing pollination services all over the United States. There are nearly 5,000 registered beekeepers in the state of Florida, managing approximately 650,000 colonies. Florida’s honey industry is ranked among the top five in the nation, producing more than 10 million pounds in 2018. Nearly 85% of these are considered backyard beekeepers (0-40 colonies), while the remaining 15% are sideline (41-100 colonies) or commercial beekeepers (100+ colonies).

The UF/IFAS beekeeping program started in 1929 but received a boost in 2018 with the opening of its state-of-the-art facilities, known as the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab (HBREL). Beekeeping education and research continues to be an increasingly important part of Florida agriculture. Several programs are offered through HBREL and in counties throughout the state. Classroom, discussions, and hands-on experience is provided in regard to apiary education to enhance the confidence and skill of honey beekeepers of all levels. The UF/IFAS Bee Colleges provides formal and non-formal education to beekeepers and non-beekeepers around the world.

Source: National Impacts Database

Read the full impact statement.

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