Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program

Missouri State Beekeepers Association (MSBA) is now working with the Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program out of University of Nebraska at Lincoln to bring resources as well as classes to Missouri beekeepers. Started under the direction of Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, assistant professor and extension specialist, who some of you may have met at a past MSBA conference, the program is designed to collaborate with state associations to not only certify beekeepers but also provide program material and other resources to participating members.

The Great Plains Master Beekeeping program was started this year and includes the states of Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming.

“The program is highly dependent on extension professionals and experienced beekeepers to bring their expertise and knowledge to both new and advanced beekeepers,” said Dr. Wu-Smart. “ The program focuses on incorporating already existing classes that can easily be accessed by beekeepers while providing updated research and scientific information.

Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program Coordinator Sheldon Brummel said the program is designed to help both beginning and experienced beekeepers. “The Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program will provide training, education, outreach, and mentoring for beginning and advanced beekeepers that will improve colony survival and drive economic success. This program will focus on colony management, bee biology, pests, pathogens and other stressors, as well as land stewardship, business and marketing, and professional development.”

If you are a beekeeping instructor and have written curriculum and power points for your classes, you can submit them for review and accreditation through the program. The curriculum and power point presentations will only be used for review; they won’t be shared outside of the program. There is no cost and participation will give you feedback on your class materials and access to updated information as well as course marketing.

The Great Plains Master Beekeeping Program is structured with multiple tiers including exploratory, apprentice, journeyman and master. Participants may advance to higher levels at their own pace to refine their knowledge and management skills. To advance levels, beekeepers must meet a set of educational, field training and volunteer or mentoring service. The flexibility of this system addresses state-specific needs and demands and will also make it easier to expand and be adapted to other states.

“We want this to be something that is sustainable,” said Dr. Wu-Smart. “We are providing the umbrella organization but it will be local beekeepers who will help each other and make this a success.”

You can register to get program updates at

For further details and to answer questions, contact Sheldon Brummel at

By Charlotte Ekker Wiggins,
MSBA Partnership Liaison

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