FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York Beekeepers Receive USDA Grant
A federal grant awarded to the Empire State Honey Producers
will help New York beekeepers to stop the loss of honey bee colonies
in the State.
The 3 year, $59,000 grant will train
beekeepers to not only prevent, diagnose, and treat honeybee
maladies, but give them the tools to teach other, beginning
beekeepers to recognize bee diseases.
The honey bee has been in the national
spotlight following large scale unexplained losses of numbers. The
silver lining in this cloud has been a renewed interest in
beekeeping. Like any other specialized activity, beekeeping has a
steep learning curve and may not yield immediate returns.
VanEnglesdorp, Senior Extension Associate at Penn State, is
enthusiastic about the potential of the USDA funding: “ It doesn't
matter if you keep 2 or 100's of hives – keeping bees is one of the
most relaxing and fascinating occupations.” The Project Director of
the Bee Informed Partnership (beeinformed.org
), an extension project
that endeavors to decrease the number of managed honey bee colonies
that die over the winter, adds, “Unfortunately keeping bees alive
isn't that easy, and it seems to be getting harder all the time.
Projects like this one are exactly what we need to help keep colonies
alive and so ensure we have the pollinators needed to pollinate our
gardens and orchards.”
The directors of the grant, Pat Bono of Rochester, and Peter Borst of
Ithaca, in conjunction with the Empire State Honey Producers (which
will provide matching funds), will implement a bold, new concept for
NY beekeepers by partnering with many regional beekeeping groups
throughout New York State. Workshops will be held at several
locations across the State.
Among the many goals of the program,
Bono and Borst include the retention of beginning beekeepers, as
there is an increase in the number of new beekeepers, especially by
women. With successful beekeeping, these beginning beekeepers would
be less apt to quit the profession, and
will help attract, encourage and encourage new beekeepers, who
constitute the next generation of pollinators and honey producers. A
successful program in New York State will also serve as a model and
example for other states in the New England and snow belt region.
The grant is administered by the
USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which
provides funding to support training, education, outreach, and
technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers.
Honey bees pollinate about $300 million
in value of New York State crops, such as apples, berries, squash,
pumpkins, and grapes.
grant will allow beekeepers, to learn and identify honeybee disease.
The knowledge that the trainers acquire will continue to benefit NY
beekeepers for many years", Greg Kalicin, President of the
Empire State Honey Producers Association (eshpa).
Empire State Honey Producers Association, the state beekeeping
organization of New York, welcomes new members, and presents
informational and educational programs twice a year. The group has
been promoting the interests of New York beekeepers since 1868.