The Appalachian Beekeeping Collective is helping the coal-mining country of southern West Virginia seize a new economic opportunity, reports Ohio Ag Connection. The collective is breeding regionally suited, mite-resistant bees and constructing a honey-processing facility. They're also training their first class of 35 displaced miners as beekeepers, and planning for 85 more next year. The beekeepers will obtain bees from the collective and maintain their own apiaries, but bring their honey to a central location for extraction, bottling, and marketing. The project leader, non-profit organization Appalachian Headwaters, is trying to reduce risk and expense for beginning beekeepers. Project organizers expect high-quality forage in the area to contribute to productive hives.
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