University beekeeping programs buzzing
Extension creates new club in Douglas County, and Experiment Station helps veterans with PTSD
The Douglas County beekeeping site houses 30,000 bees of two varieties. Photo by Kim Steed Photography.
Beekeeping in Nevada’s Douglas and Washoe Counties is on the rise, thanks to the efforts of our College.
Bee & Pollinator Club
In Douglas County, Lindsay Chichester, Extension educator with the College's Extension unit, began the process of creating the Douglas County Bee & Pollinator Club after a needs assessment survey showed community members had a high interest in learning beekeeping.
Chichester worked with the Great Basin Beekeepers of Nevada and Wild Harmony Ranch to set up five hives for community members to have a location where hands-on learning and demonstration can occur. To help promote the new program, Chichester also worked with the Carson Valley Arts Council to host a beekeeping-themed art contest. Other program partners include Pinenut Livestock Supply and Kim Steed Photography.
Chichester said, “You have to focus on the well-being of the bees and learn proper care, read their temperament and understand weather cues and nutrition.”
Another program, called Bees4Vets, is hosted at the College’s Experiment Station unit at the Main Station Field Lab in Reno. Bees4Vets is a nonprofit organization that aims to help military veterans and first responders recover from post-traumatic stress disorder and/or traumatic brain injury. The program, created and run by Daniel and Ginger Fenwick, trains up to 10 veterans and first responders a year to manage the hives at the Main Station Field Lab at no cost to the participants.
Ginger said, “We’ve seen our participants take great strides in their personal recovery journeys by being in our program. A lot of people with PTSD have trouble with their focus and staying in the moment, but with bees you have to stay present.”