Beekeeping can be a fascinating hobby, a profitable sideline, or a full-time occupation. The industry in Mississippi is composed of beekeepers that manage their colonies for honey production, as well as producing queens and package bees.
Several large commercial, migratory beekeepers in the Midwest also winter several thousand colonies in Mississippi. There are between 20 and 30 thousand colonies in the state during the summer and 80-120 thousand during the winter. Mississippi has 12 full-time commercial beekeepers, 30-40 part-time honey producers and 800 hobbyists. Mississippi ranks 28th in the nation in honey production and produces about 2.25 million pounds of honey each year.
The 1996 value of honey production in Mississippi was $1,156,000. Net annual income of Mississippi beekeepers from honey and beeswax production, sale of packaged bees and queens, and pollination fees is estimated to be between $2.1 and $3.1 million. Honey bees contribute a value to pollination of fruits, berries, vegetables, sunflowers, cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and wild plants in Mississippi exceeding $200 million annually (Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce).
RAYMOND, Miss. -- Agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel in the coastal region to discuss research and education priorities at the 2022 Producer Advisory Council meeting. The annual event aims to help clients improve their productivity. Attendees gathered in small commodity groups at each event to share their ideas with agents, researchers and specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
Beekeeping classes at Mississippi State University will be held in a new, improved apiary beginning this summer.The 768-square-foot facility, which houses at least 12 beehives, will be used for beekeeping workshops and research. Located at the Clay Lyle Entomology Complex, the apiary is a joint endeavor of the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
Central Mississippi agricultural producers and industry professionals met with Mississippi State University personnel to discuss research and education priorities at the 2022 Producer Advisory Council meeting on Feb. 23 in Raymond. The annual event is aimed at helping clients improve their productivity. Attendees gathered in small commodity groups to share their ideas with agents, researchers and specialists with the MSU Extension Service and the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.
RAYMOND, Miss. -- People interested in beekeeping should take time to answer some important questions and develop a plan before beginning this hobby.
One of the best ways people can learn about the hobby is to join a beekeeping group, said Jeff Harris, Mississippi State University Extension Service bee specialist.
“Local beekeeping clubs often have members with many years of beekeeping experience, and they are absolutely a great way for you to learn about the hobby before you begin,” Harris said.
While it seemed like winter would never end last week, many parts of Mississippi are already experiencing spring-like temperatures. I can’t think about the return of spring without thinking about bees!
For several years, my husband and I kept several bee colonies after he took an MSU Extension beekeeping course. When people ask us how to get started beekeeping, it’s no surprise our first recommendation is always, “Talk to your local Extension agent!”