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terraced field

We don't truly own land, we own paper that gives us permission to use the land as we see fit. We are custodians, and we take for granted this land and must consider that it is the most, collectively, valuable legacy that we will leave behind for our children. May sound dramatic but doesn't make it untrue.

 

 


Our Vision

 

Our main goal is the protection of the honeybee and promoting the vital role it plays in Illinois agriculture for both traditional, specialty crop, and organic farmers.
Our strategy is honeybee preservation and proliferation through education of both current and future agricultural professionals. 

You can view one of our initiatives at IllinoisBees.com. Simply stated, this is an interactive tool that applicators of pesticides can use to search for active apiaries in an intended spray area and proactively contact beekeepers before applying chemicals. Beekeepers can then protect their colonies by shutting them in during the spray.
The site partners with Driftwatch, a mapping system developed by Purdue University in 2008, and designed to avert unintended damage to a variety of specialty crops that can occur during crop treatments. We empower applicators to make more conscious choices about when and whether to apply pesticides.

With support from the Illinois State Beekeeping Association, our Illinoisbees.com awareness campaign includes outreach to applicators in the form of posters for their businesses as well as inclusion in the applicator training programs required for Illinois Department of Agriculture licensing.  

At the request of the University of Illinois Extension office, we created a PowerPoint presentation that’s now used in those training sessions.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources provided us a booth at the 2011 Illinois Farm Progress Show where we promoted use of the website and Driftwatch.
We created online banners that drive awareness and traffic to the website. These have appeared (fill in the sites and/or publications where they’ve been placed).
We target future agriculture professionals through the Illinois Future Farmers of America, the state chapter of a nationwide high school organization that is dedicated to developing leadership, personal growth, and career success through agricultural education.

We have attended the state FFA convention since 2011 and are in the midst of a pilot program. The Ag in Progress Partnership provides introductory training on the biology and behavior aspects of the honeybee we currently know. We have formed partnerships and networking within the UCIC and Fieldwatch organizations. These partnerships assure quality research findings and innovations.
We hope to expand our efforts to all stakeholders, including our Future Farmers of America (FFA), specialty crop producers, and agriculture to horticulture and landscape design.  Promoting urban pollinators and the value it can bring to our communities will be a benefit to all.

Our work is not finished however. To achieve our ambitious goals, community participation and input from industry leaderships would be necessary steps in rural economic development and sustainable farming systems.