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Heroes to Hives opens enrollment for 2022

Enrollment is open for Heroes to Hives, a free program that helps military veterans, active-duty personnel, reservists and their families learn the art of beekeeping.

University of Missouri Extension agronomist Travis Harper leads the Missouri program, the first state chapter of the national Heroes to Hives program(opens in new window). The course includes nine prerecorded modules available through Michigan State University. There are also live Zoom classes on topics specific to Missouri bee- keeping, Harper said.

Monthly hands-on training will be held April-October at the Heroes to Hives apiary in Warrensburg at the University of Central Missouri’s Mitchell Street Farm. Topics include hive handling, hive inspections, pest and pathogen management and beekeeping ergonomics. Students who finish the course can download a certificate of completion from Michigan State University.

Missouri is home to more than 440,000 veterans making the transition from military to civilian life, said Karen Funkenbusch, state director of the Missouri AgrAbility Project. Returning veterans face challenges, including anxiety, depression, service-related health issues and disabilities and finding rewarding career opportunities.

“These challenges are exacerbated by the loss of the camaraderie and support inherent in military units,” Funkenbusch said. “Transitioning vets often feel a sense of isolation and loss. Heroes to Hives offers veterans a chance to reconnect with their brothers and sisters in arms with a common mission of protecting the most important managed pollinator on the planet.”

For more information and free registration, visit