The University of Maine has received almost half a million dollars from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate what beekeepers and maple syrup producers need to scale up.
UMaine officials say the three-year project aims to increase knowledge of production and marketing challenges, as well as opportunities, for small and medium beekeeping and maple syrup producers in the state.
The project is called Finding the Sweet Spot, such as a geographic sweet spot.
"Where do you have groups of people who might be able to work together. So if you're a small, medium-sized beekeeper, you're going to need a number of farms to go to, so where is that a sweet spot? If you're a maple syrup producer, you might have to start leasing taps on other properties. Where's that located in the state?" says forest resources professor Jessica Leahy.
The project was one of three at UMaine receiving USDA funds through its National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The 3 awards totaled more than $1 million.