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State helps fight bee issues

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 7:28 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. – The bee season starts up again in Spring and keepers are getting ready.

Beekeeping is a big industry in North Dakota. The state produces more than twice as much honey as any other in the union. The state collects a fee for each colony to fund research that helps keepers understand different issues with their bees.

“Bees aren’t like a dog or a cat. Their symptoms are they’re dead. you can’t really look at them. When your animals sick they might wobble a little. Bees when they’re sick just start disappearing,” said Will Nissen, Bee keeper.

Research teams can propose projects until May fourteenth for state funding.

“The research that has been done has helped us determine, and assess different management techniques, but also different genetics, and different methods of managing and being able to keep bees healthy,” said Doug Goehring, Ag Commissioner.

One big issue on the list of topics is Varroa mites.

“Every other month we’re doing something for Varroas. If you take your fist and close it and stick it to your chest that’s how big a mite is to a bee, you can see them. It’s like a wood tick on you, if you don’t get it off of there it’ll just suck everything right out of you,” said Nissen.

In the summer North Dakota is home to almost seven hundred thousand colonies.

Find out more or submit a proposal here.

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