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Grant awarded to study Wyoming bees

Honey bees

The US Department of Agriculture has funded a grant for the University of Wyoming to study the business of beekeeping. The grant is just under $50,000 and will be used to study methods to maximize the economic impact of bee keeping in Wyoming.

Associate professor in agriculture and applied economics, Mariah Ehmke, was one of the researchers awarded the grant. She says that colony collapse disorder has contributed to declining honey bee numbers in the US, but that isn’t the only issue facing the beekeeping industry.

“The average age of beekeepers is increasing into the 55 and 65 age range, and so in order to maintain the level of pollination that we have now, we don’t just need the bees, we need the people,” added Ehmke.

Over the next year, Ehmke will be researching what it takes to start a successful beekeeping business in Wyoming, as well as why the state’s honey is worth less per gallon than honey from other Rocky Mountain States.

Chelsea Biondolillo is originally from Portland, Oregon and comes to Laramie by way of several southern cities, including New Orleans, Austin, and Phoenix. She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Wyoming in creative nonfiction and environmental studies and her prose has appeared or is forthcoming in Creative Nonfiction, Phoebe, DIAGRAM, Birding, and others. Chelsea loves plants, birds, and rocks, and tries to spend as much time as she can around them.
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