A program to monitor honey bee health in Colorado and help new hobby beekeepers learn about the world of honey bee husbandry has won a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Kurt Jones is the County Extension Director for Colorado State University Extension in Chaffee County. He created the Colorado Bee Keeper Mentorship program 2 years ago and with the grant can now expand it to more areas of the state.
" So what this Colorado Beekeeper programs is, is a multi week intensive training program designed to train volunteer to work with novice beekeepers."
The training programs will be offered in Adams, El Paso, Chaffee, Mesa Counties and the San Luis Valley beginning this fall.
Hive surveys will be conducted for mentors before the classes get underway.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture says the state is home to 946 native bee species belonging to 66 different genera or subgroups. Bee populations are hurting. Reasons include communicable diseases that bees are contracting, mite infestations, lack of forage and misuse of pesticides.
Colorado State University Extension, CSU College of Agricultural Sciences and the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) are partners in the grant program.