Bammer, M., Benge, M, & Warner, L.A. (2022). Identifying and assessing needs of Florida commercial beekeepers using nominal group technique. Journal of Agricultural Education, 63(1), 80-97.


The importance of honey bees to global agriculture is largely undisputed (Calderone, 2012; Southwick & Southwick, 1992). Simultaneously, commercial beekeeping operations face tremendous industry stressors that have led to increased management requirements and elevated colony losses in Florida and around the United States. in recent decades (Hodges et al., 2001; Kulhanek et al., 2017). The needs of such beekeepers are largely unknown due to a lack of published literature on beekeepers as a whole. Extension professionals and other agricultural educators can create educational programs to address the needs of constituents once they have assessed these gaps between current and desired states. The purpose of this study was to increase understanding of the issues facing commercial honey bee operations to better guide and develop research, instruction, and Extension programs in Florida and beyond. The objectives of this study were to (a) identify the needs of registered commercial beekeepers in Florida, and (b) prioritize registered Florida commercial beekeeper needs. The highest priority need identified by beekeepers in this study was related to controlling the parasitic mite, Varroa, in honey bee colonies. Other priority needs included effective nutritional management as well as control and management of viral infections, bacteria, and Nosema in honey bee colonies.

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