Pollinator Week is June 19-25 in South Dakota
South Dakota is one of the top five honey producing states in the U.S. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) handles registration and inspection of honey bees, or managed pollinators.
In 2016, there were over 7,000 apiaries registered, over 346,000 colonies registered and almost 290 beekeepers registered in the state.
“Honey bee pollination improves a variety of agriculture crops including alfalfa and sunflowers,” said SDDA apiary specialist Bob Reiners.
“In addition to pollinating crops at home, South Dakota beekeepers also travel to orchards and groves in the Southeast and Western United States to provide pollination services for specialty crop producers. Commercial pollination is an important part of the industry and invaluable to fruit and vegetable production in the U.S.”
Reiners adds that pollinator species such as birds and insects are essential to the production of many of South Dakota’s leading crops. He says they also play a vital role in the health of our farms, forests and grasslands.
Agriculture is a major contributor to South Dakota’s economy, generating $25.6 billion in annual economic activity and employing over 115,000 South Dakotans.
The South Dakota Department of Agriculture's mission is to promote, protect and preserve this industry for today and tomorrow. ■