SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
For Immediate Release: Nov.30,2012
Media Contact: Brad Berven, 605-773-4432
Bob Reiners, 605-773-3796
South Dakota Department of Agriculture Participates In
National Honey Bee Survey
PIERRE, S.D. - The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) has participated since 2011 in a national honey bee survey of pests and diseases.
The objective of the survey is to attempt to identify or document any potentially invasive bee diseases, parasites or pests of honey bees, to investigate potential causes of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and determine overall bee health of U.S. bee colonies.
Because honey bees play a vital role in pollination activities, the survey has been funded annually by the USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
South Dakota typically ranks in the top-five honey producing states. South Dakota is the home of 163 beekeepers who maintain about 250,000 hives at approximately 6,800 locations across the state.
SDDA sampled 25 apiaries in 2011 and 24 apiaries in 2012 as a cooperator in this endeavor. The 2012 survey results for South Dakota are not expected for a few more months.
In addition to the honey bee health survey, SDDA also collected 10 bee pollen samples each year to test for possible environmental toxins and possible interactions with bee health.
Nationwide testing in 2011 revealed that 35 pesticides were in the bee pollen samples out of the 174 pesticides that were included in the screening process.
In 2011, 12 pesticides were detected in seven different beekeeper’s pollen samples in South Dakota. Chlorpyrifos and cyhalothrin were the two most frequently detected agricultural chemicals. The other most frequently detected chemicals were varroa mite control compounds administered by beekeepers.
It is important to remember that detection of contaminants in pollen does not mean the honey is contaminated.
Agriculture is South Dakota’s No. 1 industry, generating nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employing more than 80,000 South Dakotans. The South Dakota Department of Agriculture’s mission is to promote, protect, preserve and improve this industry for today and tomorrow. Visit us online at http://sdda.sd.gov/ or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.