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).
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Healthy hives, consumer demand and crops for pollination are issues demanding beekeepers' attention in 2018.
Jeff Harris, a bee specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said bees are doing better than some reports might suggest.
Sometimes bad news can feel overwhelming, as if one person can do little to make a difference. Growing plants that support honeybees and butterflies doesn’t solve a major world problem, but it can give these important pollinators a boost while also offering loads of beautiful color to your yard or garden. Now is the time to plan! (Photo credit: Kat Lawrence)
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- From the outside, a honey bee hive looks pretty simple: bees fly in and out. They fly around flowers, and once inside the hive, they make honey.
They must be hard workers -- after all, the phrase "busy as a bee" had to come from somewhere.
Like many natural phenomena, a hive of honey bees is incredibly complex. Some scientists even classify a beehive, also called a colony, as a superorganism, an insect society made up of individuals that create a functioning whole.
BILOXI, Miss. -- Mississippi State University researchers and Extension Service agents heard suggestions from Coastal area agricultural producers and industry leaders about the research and education they need from the university in 2017.
The MSU Coastal Research and Extension Center Producer Advisory Council meeting was held on Feb. 28 in Biloxi. The annual meeting helps the university allocate time and resources to the most important issues facing Mississippi's agricultural producers and related industries.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Experienced and aspiring beekeepers in Mississippi will have two opportunities to hone their skills in March
The Mississippi State University Extension Service is hosting a Beginning Beekeepers Short Course March 4 and an Intermediate Beekeeping Workshop and Queen Rearing Seminar March 25.
The beginners' course will be at the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson. Topics include diseases, honeybee biology, hive inspection, basic equipment, seasonal management, honey extraction and small hive beetle management.