Nebraska Beekeepers Face Challenges

Joe Dejka reported today at the Omaha World-Herald Online that, “The Good Life is far from sweet for the honeybee these days.

“The official Nebraska state insect is feeling the sting of agricultural chemicals, unfavorable weather, flooding and mites, according to beekeepers big and small.

Keeping bees here has been so challenging lately that U.S. commercial beekeeping giant Adee Honey Farms recently gave up on Nebraska as a place to put hives during the summer months.”

The article stated that, “The company, which has almost 82,000 hives and trucks hives across the country to pollinate fruit and vegetables, had kept 12,000 hives in Nebraska — almost 500 million bees.

“At one time, Nebraska had been the company’s top honey-producing state…This year, the company put no hives here. Its bee losses in the state were 82% last year, so severe that the company moved what bees it could salvage to South Dakota, a company official said.”

Mr. Dejka indicated that, “Beekeepers say a combination of culprits is hurting bees, but they put pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and the Varroa mite at the top of the list.”

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