The Honey Bee Research & Extension Lab
After four years, ground broke on the UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research & Extension Laboratory on October 2, 2017. The new facility will be located next to Steinmetz Hall, home of the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department. The building’s expected completion date is June 2018.
Led by Dr. Jamie Ellis, the 8,000-square-foot facility will have a research apiary and classroom with an exposed observation hive behind glass. The Florida State Beekeepers Association has been instrumental in fundraising for the project, and in raising awareness around honey bee health and research. Dr. Ellis and the association hope to raise enough funds to build a second 5,000-square-foot addition to the lab to facilitate practical beekeeping skills, such as honey processing and extracting.
Beekeeping is a vital part of Florida agriculture. According to the American Beekeeping Federation, about a third of all food Americans eat comes from honey bee pollination.
“This [lab] is absolutely overdue and very much needed,” said Florida State Beekeepers Association president, Tony Hogg. “We are excited about this project because of the research produced from Dr. Ellis. This facility will be a tremendous resource to beekeepers in Florida and across the country. UF/IFAS Extension already has a beekeeping college, and the goal [of the lab] is to teach better beekeeping skills and to have a beekeeping specialization for entomology and nematology students within the UF/IFAS College of Agricultural and Life Sciences curriculum.”
To support the Bee Lab, please contact Julie Conn at 352-273-2099 or firstname.lastname@example.org.