But how has COVID affected beekeeping in Illinois?“It’s actually been a positive, oddly enough,” said Eugene Makovec, editor of the American Bee Journal, based in Hamilton, Illinois. “Everybody wants to buy honey. The honey I sell is from a dozen hives that typically produce 500 pounds of honey.
“Last year I sold primarily around the holidays to three or four local stores. This year, the stores I sell to went crazy in honey sales, starting in April. It’s been difficult to keep up with them. I’m actually going to run out of honey.”
His explanation: Honey is comfort food.
It’s important for beekeepers to keep abreast of new developments in their field, and that, too, has benefited.
“I find Zoom meetings very helpful” said Corky Schnadt, president of the Illinois State Beekeepers Association. “I just attended a symposium by the University of Nebraska. There were entomologists from all over the country. I thought, ‘There is no way I would have gotten all this information otherwise.’ I would never have gotten in the car and drove to Nebraska. Zoom meetings keep us connected with the latest data.”
Not all is rosy in the apian world, however. Novice beekeepers, after sinking $500 or more into a hive, a colony of bees and protective gear, have concerns they like to share with experienced beekeepers.
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