North Dakota beekeepers remain hopeful despite ongoing drought

Bee colony
Bee colony(KFYR)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 5:50 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – North Dakota is the top honey-producing state in the country. And harvest season for beekeepers, the most important time of year for the state’s industry, is quickly approaching.

Honey producers know that the bigger the honeybee, the better, and that has been a struggle this year with statewide drought conditions.

The lack of moisture created a short bloom season for trees and plants, so the bees missed out on a lot of pollen.

This left beekeepers to have to substitute a lot of their nutrition so that they can build up their colony size and produce honey.

“Right now they are at a hold pattern, it seems like mother nature is the only thing that works right to grow bees. You can do all the man-made substitutes, but there is nothing like mother nature,” said Will Nissen, co-owner of Five Star Honey Farms.

Usually, Nissen harvests his honey crop in the middle of July, but given the way the crop is looking now, he may have to hold off.

However, Nissen said anything can happen.

“We’re not even close to where we could even get started with the new crop. So sometimes in the world of agriculture, things happen fast. We’ll see, two weeks, a lot of things can happen,” said Nissen.

For now, Nissen said he cannot predict if there will be a rise in the price of honey this year, but it is very possible if producers are not harvesting enough.

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