Linda Geist
  • Using a fume board to remove bees so honey can be extracted. University of Missouri Extension file photo.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Enrollment for Heroes to Hives Beekeeping Training Program is open through Feb. 28.

Military veterans and their dependents are eligible to attend the free nine-month program by registering at, says University of Missouri Extension health and safety specialist Karen Funkenbusch. She oversees the program’s Missouri chapter with MU Extension agronomist Travis Harper.

Some of the nation’s leading beekeeping experts teach the 100-hour course via Zoom and at apiaries in selected states, including four locations in Missouri.

Heroes to Hives helps veterans address financial and personal issues by offering free training and community development centered around beekeeping. Hands-on training includes hive handling, hive inspections, pest and pathogen management, and beekeeping ergonomics, Funkenbusch says.

The program teaches veterans how to establish apiaries and sell honey and wax products. The group also tours veteran-owned businesses throughout the state. But much of Heroes to Hives’ draw is in the social connections that veterans make, says Harper.

For more information on MU’s program, go to

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