Andrew Joseph

Andrew Joseph

State Apiarist at Iowa Department of Agriculture

Location:
502 E. 9th St, Des Moines, Iowa, United States
HQ Phone:
(515) 281-5305

General Information

Experience

Teacher  - Cherry Glen Learning Farm

Education

Masters in Science  - Entomology , 

Affiliations

State Apiarist  - Iowa Honey Producers Association

Recent News  

For more information, please refer to the IHPA website and online monthly newsletter at www.abuzzaboutbees.com or contact Andrew Joseph, State Apiarist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, at (515) 725-1481 or andrew.joseph@iowaagriculture.gov.

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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.

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Andrew Joseph, a bee researcher for the agency estimates the loss at 70 percent or more for beekeepers in the state.

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