How to Start a MO Master Pollinator Steward Program

A honeybee packing pollen visits a New England Aster in my Rolla, Mo. garden.

Interested in helping pollinators, including honeybees? There is a brand new program in Missouri designed to do just that. Your local bee club can sponsor the program, get programming for half a year and generate revenue for club operations.
The Missouri Master Pollinator Steward Program officially launched fall of 2018. The six-session program is designed to teach participants about pollinators, why they are important and what participants can do to help them.
Local bee clubs can work with their local University of Missouri Extension offices to request the program in their area; to get class participants registered and to host the sessions, which include hands on activities.
The suggested cost of the program is $90 per person. The recommendation is that $25 goes back to the local bee club; another $25 is a required University of Missouri state fee. The remainder ($40) is used to cover expenses like printing and supplies, and any surplus kept by that local extension office. “Details of how funds will be dispersed is part of the discussion a bee club should have with their respective county extension center council,” according to Jim Quinn, University of Missouri Extension specialist and steering committee member.
For the past three years, the University of Missouri has sponsored a steering committee to develop a Master Pollinator Steward program for the state. The purpose of the program was to capture those 9 out of 10 people who want to help pollinators but don’t want to keep honeybees, the largest of the pollinator groups.
Lack of plant diversity and poor nutrition sources is one of the three major challenges to keeping bees alive worldwide.
“It’s been exciting to see this program evolve and to take it out for a test in May,” said former Missouri State Beekeepers Association President Valerie Duever, another working group member. “The president and steering committee member. “ This program should be a great resource for local bee clubs and other groups interested in helping to restore Missouri’s foraging areas.”
Other steering committee members include Travis Harper and Bob Pierce, MU Extension specialists; Mike Conroy, Sedalia Beekeeping Association; Jim Duever, Boone Regional Beekeeping Association; Bob Lee, Master Naturalist representative; Amber Edwards, Conservationist educator, and Charlotte Ekker Wiggins, Master gardener.
Missouri State Beekeepers Association endorsed the general concept for this program October 2015.
For more information on Missouri’s master pollinator steward program, visit
https://extension2.missouri.edu/programs/programs-master-pollinator-steward
Guidelines on how to set up a Master Pollinator Steward program class are here:
https://extension.missouri.edu/pollinator

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