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This profile was last updated on 1/17/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

State Apiarist

Iowa Department of Agriculture

Employment History


  • Masters in Science , Entomology
64 Total References
Web References
Andy Joseph, State Apiarist ..., 17 Jan 2016 [cached]
Andy Joseph, State Apiarist for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS), chose 77 cities from around the state for inclusion on, with the hope of growth in the number of apiaries in and around those cities.
Iowa Department of Agriculture ..., 27 Mar 2014 [cached]
Iowa Department of Agriculture bee researcher Andrew Joseph characterized the situation as a 'death by a thousand paper cuts" as the honey bee population has faced an environment lacking in diversity, pesticide problems, colony collapse and parasites such as varroa mites, since the 1990s.
These conditions lead to stressed, sick and weakened bees that can't weather the winter.
'It's not that bees can't handle a cold winter or snow … (but) when you go into winter with those types of bees and then you're confronted with the harshness of this season, they don't make it through to spring time," Joseph said.
Joseph said an average honey bee winter loss is around 15 to 20 percent in Iowa. Experts compare the numbers from October to April and, although he doesn't have official numbers yet, early reports hint at a significant loss, he said.
Joseph said while the honey bee population isn't doomed it will be a rebuilding year. He said beekeepers will have to put more time and effort into keeping bees strong and healthy to try to stem future loss.
Joseph estimated Iowa has between 3,500 and 4,000 beekeepers, ranging from people with one or two hives in their backyard to business operations such as Stewart's.
Joseph said although honey is what honey bees are known for producing, they're also vital for healthy vegetables and fruits, which they pollinate to give the crops good color and the taste people enjoy.
Joseph said despite the troubling decade or so for bees, he's glad there remains a growing interest in beekeeping.
'One of the things we tell them is you're getting into this at the worst time in history. But that doesn't seem to deter very many at all," he said. 'They want to do something good and learn more about what's going on, and I appreciate that interest."
Iowa Honey Producers Association 1912-2012, 5 Sept 2015 [cached]
Andrew Joseph
Office of the State Apiarist
The Buzz Newsletter, 1 Dec 2009 [cached]
This month our featured beekeeper is Andy Joseph. He and his wife Catherine and new son live in Des Moines, Iowa. Andy works for the Iowa Department of Agriculture Land Stewardship as our State Apiarist. He markets his honey under the name Meadow Blazing Star Honey.
Andy started his beekeeping career with 2 hives on a hillside in Lewis County, Kentucky almost 10 years ago. The reason, he was curious about bees and knew nothing about beekeeping. This year he has 20 or so colonies and plans to grow his numbers to about 50 or 60 colonies in the next two years. He put out a few hives for small-scale local vegetable and fruit pollination this past year. Catherine and Andy sell their honey while it lasts.
Andy says he really enjoys working with bees and beekeeping. He says, "The more I learn aobut these insects, the more fascinating they become. I feel fortunate to do what I do and I'm lucky to have Catherine, who tolerates all this."
Looking towards the future, Andy says he is excited to be involved with the IHPA youth mentoring program. He and John Johnson are looking forward to the Ankeny Bee School again, and further down the road Andy is hoping his son, Harlan, will want to get caught up in all this beekeeping too.
Andy belongs to several beekeeping groups. One is Central Iowa Beekeeping Association, CIBA, in Des Moines. That group handles the equipment auction for the honey producers. Another is Back-2-Basics in Oskaloosa. They hold informative monthly meetings and a summer field day. Andy says, "I like to sit back and learn something at the meetings. There are a good number of experienced and skilled beekeepers around here with tons of knowledge. He also reports on what he and others are seeing around the state.
As our State Apiarist, Andy holds a position on the Iowa Honey Producers Association board and is always around to do what he can. He is involved with the IHPA Beginning Beekeeping Schools mentoring the youth. He give "Bee Talks" to many groups and tries to spend a good amount of time at the IHPA booth at the State Fair.
When asked about his beekeeping experiences that would be of interest to others, Andy is humble and says, "I doubt there's much about my own beekeeping practices that would be terribly interesting or unique to others' experiences. Generally, though, it's been more fun than work and I've met tons of good people all through bees."
Thanks for all you do for the Iowa Honey Producers Andy.
Ankeny Ikes, 16 Mar 2015 [cached]
One such person is the State of Iowa's one and only apiarist, Andy Joseph.
On Saturday, August 23rd, Andy held his annual end of year field day out at the bee yards at Chichaqua Bottoms. This involved a bunch of bee keepers, young and old, experienced and not, observing and helping in harvesting honey frames and checking for varoa mites.
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