Professional Development Program in Apiculture and Pollination

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2003: $81,412.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $14,484.00
Region: North Central
State: Illinois
Project Coordinator:
Stu Jacobson
University of Illinois at Springfield

Annual Reports


  • Animals: bees


  • Crop Production: application rate management
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking, on-farm/ranch research, workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution


    This project is designed to increase awareness and knowledge about the importance of beekeeping and pollination among agricultural educators so that they will incorporate this information into their programs. For this purpose, four Power Point presentations were developed on: Biology of Honey Bees, Native Bees, Pollination and stinging Insects. These were “delivered” using two different approaches. (1) Face-to-face workshops of 4-5 hours at 14 Extension offices to 257 agricultural educators, including Master Gardeners; (2) A distance learning approach using a TeleNet system to deliver four, two-hour sessions to 211 agricultural educators in 28 county offices. In addition, more detailed talks on pollination topics with four other Power Point presentations were also made at four meetings to 146 persons, primarily growers and some agricultural educators. Evaluations of the workshops showed that participants rated their experience highly, especially the “hands on” opening of a small beehive. Workshop participants increased their understanding of a number of topics related to specific Short-Term Outcomes. They also identified how they were planning to use the information. Participants in the distance learning programs also rated them highly: 85% were very satisfied- satisfied (55% and 30% respectively). They also increased their understanding of topics related to Intermediate Outcomes and identified those topics that they would emphasize in providing information to growers and the public.

    Project objectives:

    This project used outcomes rather than objectives.

    Short Term Outcomes
    Educator Awareness:
    Role of beekeeping and pollination in agriculture and human nutrition.

    Educator Knowledge:
    Importance of pollination for fruit & vegetable production; how to protect pollinators from insecticides.
    How to be a knowledgeable consumer of pollination services (pollination standards, etc.)
    Importance of a network of beekeeping and grower’s associations as sources of information and industry support.
    Basic beekeeping, role of honeybees in pollination.
    Increased knowledge of specific needs and of barriers and problems of beekeeping industry.

    Educator Attitudes:
    Importance of working with beekeepers and those interested in apiculture.

    Educator Skills:
    Identify how to obtain research-based information on beekeeping/pollination (via Extension & project publications/presentations)
    How beekeeping can be integrated into sustainable small and mid-size farms beekeeping into farm operations increases.

    Intermediate Outcomes
    Educator Behavior/Practice:
    4-H Leaders, classroom & vo-ag teachers incorporate into teaching.
    Educators develop programs, including information on alternative pollinators.
    Educators assist in the development of networks, including using associations as sources of information.
    4-H educators & leaders provide information to youth.
    Educators provide needed information and assist service providers to improve beekeeper access to resources.
    Educators work with beekeeping sector in forming advisory groups, partnerships and networks.
    Educators interact with farmers & beekeepers to identify research and education needs.
    Educators increase knowledge of sustainable farmers re: beekeeping.

    Long Term Outcomes/Systemic Changes
    Educator changes result in: Increased awareness among youth of the importance of beekeeping and pollination.
    Changes in educator behavior result in: More growers making better decisions resulting in improved pollination and crop production. Growers implement practices that reduce pesticide damage. More growers become knowledgeable consumers of pollination services.
    Educator’s efforts to develop networks results in: Networks that facilitate growers locating pollinating beekeepers and vice versa. Increased association contacts with growers, youth and other persons interested in beekeeping.
    Educator and volunteer changes result in: More youth conducting beekeeping projects and more successful projects.
    Educators’ programs with beekeepers result in: More beekeepers using business & marketing plans; more beekeepers receiving loans and crop insurance.
    Partnerships between educators and other stakeholder groups provide: Opportunities to conduct on-farm research projects. Beekeepers provide input into on-farm research projects and programming and local policy issues.
    Partnership of beekeepers and other stakeholders resulting in: Increased number of persons accessing research-based information on beekeeping. Number of farmers integrating beekeeping into farm operations increases.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.