Area farmers could use some good news as the planting season begins to wind down. The efforts to rebuild Iowa’s honey bee population is apparently working. State Apiarist Andrew Joseph says, despite this past winter’s extended stretch of extreme cold, the insect’s numbers look good.
In addition to producing honey, the bees play a role in the pollination of all kinds of agricultural crops. A harsh winter in 2014 devastated Iowa’s honey bee population with losses of colonies as high as 65-percent. Joseph credits backyard beekeepers for helping re-establish some of the colonies.
According to Joseph, beekeeping supplies are easy to find in Iowa. He says in most parts of the state, if you wake up one morning in April or May and decide you want honeybees, you can establish a hive by the end of the day.