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N.D. bee colonies hit all-time high

BISMARCK — The country’s No. 1 state for the bee industry has hit an all-time high for colonies.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced Thursday that about 510,000 bee colonies were registered this year in North Dakota, up by almost 30,000 from 2013. The colonies are spread across more than 12,200 locations, compared with 11,000 last year.

“Not only are the number of colonies and beekeepers up, so is compliance,” Goehring said in a news release. “In the meantime, we are getting fewer landowner complaints about bee colonies.”

Goehring credited the state Department of Agriculture apiary staff with taking action to improve compliance. Staff members made numerous phone calls to educate and keep producers in compliance.

Disease and other threats continue to be a concern for bee populations across the nation, according to the release.

North Dakota has led the nation in honey production for the past decade. In 2013, the state produced more than 33 million pounds of honey, 22 percent of the national total.

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