BFRDP Projects

Great Plains Master Beekeeping Farmer Open Apiaries and Educational Training Kits
[Progress Report]

Award Amount: $496,890
Grant Program: 2021 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Judy Wu-Smart
Organization: University of Nebraska-Lincoln


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

Experiential learning or "learning through reflections of doing" is a highly successful method of education. Hands-on practical training is a form of experiential learning and is often a critical component of training for professions that are as tactile and sensory as beekeeping. New beekeeping farmers must learn how to properly manipulate hive equipment and safely manage
hives with little disruption to bees. They also learn to assess hive needs using diagnostic sensory observations, including touch and smell, that are not easily conveyed through lectures, online videos, and books. Many experienced beekeeping farmers are willing to become mentors and offer practical training but do not for reasons including not having suitable locations to not having enough hives for teaching purposes. Therefore, through this project we are building upon the Regional Great Plains Master Beekeeping (GPMB) Program (previous BRFD # 2018-70017-28546) efforts and our project aim includes four new objectives that: 1) enhance open apiaries and field training opportunities which will promote GPMB level advancement; 2) enhance GPMB website user interface and experience for independent user tracking and long-term usage; 3) develop hands-on training kits and demonstration aids to enhance practical field training and experiential learning that complement existing lectures and online materials; and 4) continue targeted training opportunities for underserved populations. The overall aim of this workforce training program is to further expand practical skills and experiential learning for beginning and experienced beekeeping farmers through the enhancement of external partnerships, such as local beekeeping groups, that foster community-level engagement, support, and learning. 

Number of Participants: 3447


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success