The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) announced an upcoming opportunity to participate in the Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana.
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The LDAF will work in partnership with high school agriculture teachers to offer beekeeping apprenticeship projects to high school agriculture students.
Through the Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana, LDAF will sponsor five high school agriculture programs and/or educators with up to $10,000 in beehive and beekeeping resources to establish, with the help of students, an apiary (bee yard) of up to eight beehives at their schools.
Over the course of two years, each of the participating educators and/or programs will teach a class of students annually, through classroom instruction and hands-on experiences in the school bee yard, about basic beekeeping, including what goes into starting a beekeeping enterprise and maintaining successful hives.
Each educator and/or program will also select up to eight outstanding youth from their classes of students with an interest in beekeeping for a year-long intense supervised agricultural experience (apprenticeship) in beekeeping. Each apprentice will be responsible for the success of one hive in the school bee yard for a 12-month period.
This program is designed to address the loss of small producer-operated beehives in Louisiana due to beekeeper aging and the need for a new generation of beekeepers to maintain the industry, as well as benefit overall specialty crop production in Louisiana.
“Bee farming is vital to agriculture and substantially contributes to our economy,” said LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain, DVM. “Honey bees are important pollinators that help sustain the environment, and furthering education around their vital role is imperative for continued preservation.”
The window to apply is October 1 through October 22, 2022. ■
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