Beekeeping at UD
Apiculture, the study and practice of beekeeping, has had a long history at the University of Delaware. The UD apiary was first established in 1949 by Dr. Dale Bray behind Townsend Hall, South campus, on the Newark teaching/research farm. Today the UD apiary is used for research, teaching and extension purposes, and hosts outreach events for Master Gardeners, the Delaware Beekeepers Association, local garden clubs and other organizations.
The apiary is self-supported by the honey the bees diligently make every season, which is sold at the UDairy Creamery and vended as “Dare to Bee” honey. The bees forage for floral resources such as black locust, clover, tulip poplar, along with a wide variety of other wild flowers. There often is a summer dearth in June and July before August when goldenrod, aster and many non-native floral sources such as knotweeds, Spanish needle and Joe-Pye weed begin flowering. These nectars, and the resulting honey, tend to be much darker in color and have a rich flavor.
Dr. Chuck Mason first taught Beekeeping as a University course in 1978. Dr. Dewey Caron taught and did honey bee research and extension from 1981 until retirement in 2009. Currently, Associate Professor Dr Debbie Delaney, shown below with undergraduates in the apiculture course, heads the honey bee teaching, extension and research effort.
The Apiculture Program’s main goal is to provide hands-on experience centered on the amazing honey bee and other native pollinators. Equally important is the desire to share the unique life history, biology and ecology of the honey bee with students and future and current beekeepers.
The UD Apiculture Program also shares a unique role with other Universities and Beekeeping Associations in the Mid-Atlantic region. A regional consortium, Mid-Atlantic Apiculture Research and Extension Consortium MAAREC, established in 2005, provides the 6-state area beekeepers and general public with information on Best Management Practices and tools to enhance honey production and bee stewardship.
Additionally, the UD Apiculture program, in conjunction with Delaware Beekeepers Association and Delaware State University, provides workshops and short courses throughout the year that range from beginner beekeeping to intermediate and advance topics in beekeeping. These courses are designed to equip and update beekeepers and growers on proper management and new technology in the field. Listings of courses and workshops can be found on the Delaware Beekeepers Association website (http://www.delawarebeekeepers.com).
Utilizing citizen science based approaches in conjunction with molecular tools, research at UD covers a wide number of topics from risk management for honey producers to evolutionary biology and population genetics of U.S. Honey Bees. EAS 2017 will feature many of these on-going studies and the students involved in the program will be active participants. This will be the 4th time EAS has visited Delaware – the last time was 10 years ago in 2007. There is an abbreviated History of DE Beekeepers association on the Delaware Beekeepers website http://www.delawarebeekeepers.com/history.html.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU at UD, July 31-August 4, 2017. See the EAS website www.easternapiculture.org for developing details on program, activities and, in April, full details on conference registration and conference activities. 2017 Dr Debbie Delaney & Dewey Caron
Our Mission Is:
Education and Conferences,
Master Beekeeper Certification,
Honey Bee Research Grants