- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
"Honey bees contribute nearly $20 billion to the value of U.S. crop production," according to the American Beekeeping Federation's Pollination Facts. "This contribution, made by managed honey bees, comes in the form of increased yields and superior quality crops for growers and American consumers. A healthy beekeeping industry is invaluable to a healthy U.S. agricultural economy. As honey bees gather pollen and nectar for their survival, they pollinate crops such as apples, cranberries, melons and broccoli. Some crops, including blueberries and cherries, are 90-percent dependent on honey bee pollination. One crop, almonds, depends entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time."
CAMPF, launched and directed by Extension apiculturist Elina Lastro Niño of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, sought to raise funds for its science-based Beekeeper's Apprentice course, described as "educational, engaging and entertaining for all ages." (The month-long crowdfunding is over but you can still donate to CAMPF here.)
As CAMBP says on its website: "The California Master Beekeeper Program is a continuous train-the-trainer effort. The CAMBP's vision is to train 2500 Apprentice beekeepers over the next 5 years so they can effectively communicate the importance of honey bees and other pollinators within their communities, serve as mentors for other beekeepers, and become the informational conduit between the beekeeping communities throughout the state and UCCE (UC Cooperative Extension) staff."
"Participants have the opportunity to receive an outstanding California-centric science-based education, and are current on the latest studies on honey bees and beekeeping, which are constantly evolving. Researched-based apiculture training helps to minimize potentially disastrous consequences, such as increased pest and pathogen transfer, or the spread of overly defense honey bees, which are considered a public-health risk. Our mission is to use science-based information to educate stewards and ambassadors for honey bees and beekeeping."
Like to enroll in a Master Beekeeper course? Check out the website for more information. You can also contact CAMPF at firstname.lastname@example.org; Niño at email@example.com or program manager Wendy Mather at firstname.lastname@example.org or other team members at https://cambp.ucdavis.edu/people.
Meanwhile, even honey bees can "high five."/span>