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Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana

The competitiveness of Louisiana-grown specialty crops will be enhanced, and concerns regarding the long-term growth of the beekeeping industry in the state will be addressed through the continuation and improvement of the Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana. LDAF, working in partnership with high school agricultural teachers, will offer a beekeeping apprenticeship project reaching approximately 200 high school agriculture students.

Through the Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana, LDAF will sponsor five high school agriculture programs/educators with up to $10,000 in beehive/beekeeping resources to establish, with the help of students, an apiary (bee yard) of up to eight beehives at their schools.

The beekeeping materials LDAF will secure for each of the five agriculture educators establishing a school bee yard will include:

  • Up to 8 hives
  • Additional brood boxes
  • Bees (nucs)
  • Cinder blocks for elevating the bee hives
  • Water sealant and brushes to water seal the hives
  • Foundation wax for brood boxes
  • Beekeeping suit kits (in Med and Large sizes that includes suit, hood, beekeeping gloves and tools)
  • Beekeeping smokers
  • Beekeeping basics information book

Over the course of two years, each of the participant teachers will teach a class of students (average class size = 20) annually through classroom instruction and hands-on experiences in the school bee yard about basic beekeeping, including what goes into starting a beekeeping enterprise and maintaining successful hives.  

Each teacher will also select up to eight outstanding youths from their classes of students with an interest in beekeeping for a year-long intense supervised agricultural experience (apprenticeship) in beekeeping. Each apprentice will be responsible for the success of one hive in the school bee yard for a 12-month period.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this opportunity, the agricultural teachers who apply for this opportunity must:

  • Submit a complete application by the date required; be one of the first five who submit a complete application
  • In the application, the applicant must demonstrate that their high school agricultural program has the capacity and resources to support and sustain the established bee yard over two years. Support from the high school principal support is mandatory.
  • In the application, the applicant must agree to provide instruction, skill-based training, and other school-based activities to create awareness of the industry among young potential farmers and educate and advise students and apprentices on beginning beekeeping farming and how to be successful. Additionally,  the instruction and training should cover basic bee biology (life cycle of bees, anatomy, the behavior of social insects, etc.) and basic beekeeping skills (how to inspect your hive, proper use of a bee smoker, queen selection, hive splitting, etc.).
  • In the application, the applicant must agree to select up to eight beekeeping apprentices from the class receiving instruction and who show an interest in beekeeping to receive a supervised (by teacher) agricultural beekeeping experience (SAE) in the school apiary.
  • In the application, applicants must agree to submit quarterly reports on the project activities at their school. The reports should include:
    • Summary of beekeeping education, training, and activities conducted by the educator during the quarter.
    • Copies of classroom students’ surveys/assessments of the beekeeping knowledge they have gained following the completion of their educational unit on beekeeping. Early in the project, LDAF will work with the five educators to create a common end-of-year assessment of beekeeping knowledge gained. Copies of the students’ surveys will be submitted to LDAF in the following quarterly report.
    • Apprentices write quarterly reports to indicate their progress and receive advice on problems that may arise. Copies of these apprentice reports will be included in the quarterly report submitted by the educator to LDAF on January 15, April 15, July 15, and October 15 for both 2023 and 2024.
    • Require each apprentice to share their lessons learned and the knowledge gained during this project with others in a five-minute videotaped PowerPoint-based presentation or oral presentation in the spring semester (ideally in March or April). These student presentations will cover general beekeeping and what the trainee learned and experienced on a day-to-day basis as a result of participating in the Apprenticeship Project for Growing New Beekeepers in Louisiana. The presentation can be made to a class of students unfamiliar with beekeeping, a club, a civic group, agricultural meetings, or a chapter of local beekeepers. These videotaped or PowerPoint presentations should be submitted with the educators’ quarterly report due on either April 15, 2023, or July 15, 2023, and either April 15, 2024, or July 15, 2024.

Application

Now accepting applications! The window to apply is October 1, 2022, through October 22, 2022.

Click here to apply. (Application window has closed.)

Click here for application guidelines.