Drought Affects Nation’s Honeybees

Dan Pollinators, This Land of Ours

A problem that affects many honeybees around the nation. That’s today’s This Land of Ours.


As we continue to celebrate National Pollinator Week, we take a look at the problems honeybees and their beekeepers are facing. One such problem is the drought that has plagued much of the nation over the last few years. North Dakota is the nation’s top beekeeping and honey-producing state, and while its colder temperatures may help keep bee predator the Varroa mite at bay, even that state has faced drought. And as California beekeeper, and former president of the American Beekeeping Federation, Gene Brandi points out, drought means fewer flowers and that means less natural food for the honeybees.

“We’re having a drought in California once again, and so the availability of good floral sources is not good. We don’t have a lot of floral sources for the bees to work,” he said. “We did get some pollen this spring, but not as much as in a good year. We had very, very little nectar so we had to supplement the bees’ diet with sugar syrup that we had to buy.”

He said his honey production is far lower this year than normal.

Other areas in the nation that don’t have to deal with severe drought—such as the southeast—still have other issues when it comes to honeybees. We’ll have more of that in tomorrow’s program.

Listen to Sabrina Halvorson’s This Land of Ours program here.

Drought Affects Nation’s Honeybees

Sabrina Halvorson
National Correspondent / AgNet Media, Inc.

Sabrina Halvorson is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and public speaker who specializes in agriculture. She primarily reports on legislative issues and hosts The AgNet Weekly podcast. Sabrina is a native of California’s agriculture-rich Central Valley.