Final Project overview
This project covered the risk management topics of production risk, price or market risk, financial risk, and legal/institutional risk. Three methods were used to deliver the project, two in-person workshops, an online course, and publicly available extension documents. Our target audience was Oklahoma residents who are beekeepers, or interested in beekeeping. The online course and extension materials are publicly available to those outside Oklahoma. Participants better understood production risk through better increased knowledge of best practices. Specifically, the online course included information on obtaining bees, conducting hive inspections, common diseases, and common population/queen issues. The first workshop covered basic production practices. The second workshop included more in depth information on swarming behavior, as well as splitting/combining hives. Information surrounding bee keeping is not centrally located, and it can be difficult for producers to learn about best practices, so the creation of our website to host materials was paramount. Producers combated price or market risk through increased understanding of their marketing options for honey and other bee products including how to sell direct to consumers, as well as the rules to become established at farmers markets. All in-person workshops, and the online class, included information on marketing products. Both the honey harvest and multi product fact sheets and interactive tools have been highly downloaded. Many bee producers do not understand support programs available to them as livestock producers to help mitigate financial and productions risks, including ELAP. All in-person workshops and the online class included information about USDA programs including ELAP. Additionally, a fact sheet was created and hosted on the OSU beekeeping program website. That fact sheet has not been downloaded as much at the time of reporting because it was recently published. Surprisingly, many beekeepers indicated increased knowledge of honey labeling laws after the workshops.This mitigation of legal risk was surprising, as most beekeepers have the goal of selling honey. We consider the workshops and materials created through this project a success. We plan to continue building on this work, and we believe the online class will be greatly utilized in the future.