Scroll down to find out more about honey, bees, and beekeeping in your state. They are listed alphabetically.
- ALABAMA: A common varietal of honey in Alabama is cotton honey. Cotton honey is a light colored honey with a light, delicate flavor. Honey bees also pollinate cotton plants, helping to produce the material necessary to make many articles of clothing. Next time you pull on your favorite t-shirt, you can thank the bees!
- ALASKA: Alaska has a very short growing season. In the winter, wind chill can get as cold as -80 degrees Fahrenheit! Despite all these hardships, bees produce an extremely valuable variety of honey called fireweed honey. The average price for 12 ounces is $25-$30!
- ARIZONA: Although the climate can be very desert-like, Arizona contains several flowering plants that provide excellent nectar sources for honey including acacia, mesquite, and catsclaw. In the fall, bees also gather nectar from sources such as daisies, poppies, Indian buckwheat, and burrow weed.
- ARKANSAS: Honey bees in Arkansas are important pollinators for cash crops like cotton. Cotton is important for making clothing, so without bees, clothing would be much more expensive!
- CALIFORNIA: California is the world’s largest almond producer. Every year, migratory beekeepers truck thousands of colonies of honey bees to California to pollinate the almond crop. The crop requires more than twice as many colonies as are already in California to be shipped in just for pollination! California also has the standing record for honey production. In 1976, Ormond R. Aebi of Santa Cruz extracted 404 lbs. from a single hive, setting a Guinness World Record.
- COLORADO: The Colorado State Beekeepers Association was formed in 1880 and is one of the oldest running beekeeping organizations in the United States. Bees pollinate important crops in Colorado such as sunflowers.
- CONNECTICUT: Connecticut produces many different natural varietals of honey such as blueberry, raspberry, wildflower, and buckwheat. There are over 300 varieties of honey in the US and over 3,000 varieties in the world. The nectar source that the honey was made from affects the color, flavor, and aroma of the honey. With so many different varieties, there is one for every occasion!
- DELAWARE: Apples are a main crop in Delaware. Did you know if an apple is fully pollinated there will be 10 seeds in the core? If the apple is only partially pollinated there can be as few as two seeds.
- FLORIDA: In Florida, many honey bee pollinated crops are grown annually including oranges, strawberries, peppers, and cantaloupe. If honey bees did not perform their important job of pollination, we would have very few of these foods and they would be very expensive. Honey bees pollinate over 90 different food crops. So next time you enjoy a juicy strawberry or a ripe, crunchy cucumber, thank the bees!
- GEORGIA: There is a long standing state regulation that it is illegal to make beekeeping illegal in Georgia! One of Georgia’s most important crops, peaches, is pollinated by honey bees!
- HAWAII: Honey bees have been in the state of Hawaii for over 150 years. Two of Hawaii’s biggest beekeeping specialties are honey production and queen breeding. Queen breeders are people who raise queen bees that are then sold to beekeepers to put in their hives. They play an important role in the beekeeping industry. Hawaii also produces some very unique varietals of honey including Lehua, Macadamia, Hawaiian Christmas Berry, and Wileaiki Blossom.
- ILLINOIS: Illinois has had honey bees since at least 1820. Honey bees are not native to America but were brought by early settlers in the 1600s. In 1863, the Charles Dadant family began selling honey and beeswax in local Illinois towns. Dadant and Sons is now a premier beekeeping company serving thousands of beekeepers across the nation.
- INDIANA: The Indiana Beekeepers Association offers the “Young Beekeepers Project” to help people from ages 12-20 start beekeeping. Anyone can do something to help the honey bee, and the demographics of beekeepers are more diverse than ever! Bees also are a big pollinator of apples in Indiana.
The primary fruit produced in Iowa is the apple. Honey bees
play a vital role in pollinating apples. A fully pollinated apple has ten fully
developed seeds. Honey bees also collect nectar from apple blossoms along with
the pollen. Apple blossom honey is a light amber color with a delicate, fruity
- KANSAS: The state insect of Kansas is the honey bee! There are 17 states that have the honey bee as their state insect. Many of these states see the honey bee as an important pollinator of over 90 different food crops! That means bees pollinate about 1/3 of our food supply.
- KENTUCKY: Kentucky is home to the famous horserace, the Kentucky Derby. What do horses have to do with honey bees? Honey bees collect pollen from flowers. They eat this pollen as a source of protein. It turns out that horses are sometimes fed this pollen as well, also as a source of protein. While it is important to consult a vet before feeding your horse pollen, it can help with conditioning, maintaining healthy blood cell count, and building up muscle.
- LOUSIANA: The honey bee is also the state insect of Louisiana! Did you know it takes a honey bee 2 million visits to flowers to collect enough nectar to make one pound of honey?
- MAINE: Across Maine, wild blueberries are grown on roughly 60,000 acres. Migratory beekeepers ship around 55,000 hives to Maine every year to pollinate the blueberry crop. Field studies indicate that one beehive could increase a single acre’s production by 1,000 pounds!
- MARYLAND: One of the main crops in Maryland is hay. Bees
pollinate clover and alfalfa which cows eat. This helps them produce milk so we
can make ice cream, yogurt and cheese! Without bees, your favorite ice cream
would be more expensive.
- MASSACHUSETTS: There are several unique varieties of honey in Massachusetts including alfalfa, apple blossom, blackberry, blueberry, buckwheat, goldenrod, and raspberry. The colors range from light golden to dark brown and the flavors range from delicate and light to robust and rich. Be sure to try them all!
- MICHIGAN: Yellow star thistle honey is a very popular variety of honey in Michigan. Although it is considered a weed, it produces a very flavorful honey. Did you know there are over 300 different varieties of honey in the United States and 1,000 around the world?
- MINNESOTA: The Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota has established a bee lab to help discover more about honey bees and their care. A honey bee’s most important job is pollination – passing pollen from flower to flower to fertilize them and help them produce fruits and vegetables. Honey bees pollinate nearly 1/3 of our diet and pollination is worth $19.2 billion annually to our national economy.
- MISSISSIPPI: A special kind of honey called tupelo honey is produced in Mississippi. Tupelo honey is famous for its delicious flavor and its inability to crystallize. Tupelo is a type of gum tree that grows in flooded forest areas such as Florida, Louisiana and of course Mississippi!
- MISSOURI: One of Missouri’s major crops is soybeans. In 2010, soybean
crops were worth over $2.2 billion in Missouri alone. Honey bees are
pollinators of soybeans. These small insects’ vital work makes an enormous
impact on the state and the economy.
- MONTANA: In Montana, the deer and moose population outnumbers the human population! That means that bees there have plenty of forage to collect pollen and nectar from. Wildflower honey is very popular from this area and has a light, delicate flavor. It is very commonly found in grocery stores.
- NEBRASKA: There are around 40,000 beehives in the state of Nebraska. Beekeeping is an all-inclusive industry. Everyone from young children to seniors can play an active role in helping the honey bees. A great way to help the honey bees is by planting bee friendly plants such as herbs or clover. Another great way to help is to support local beekeepers by buying local honey. Finally, consider beekeeping yourself! Beekeeping can be done on any level, whether for fun or as a career.
- NEW HAMPSHIRE: There are many varieties of honey available in New Hampshire such as alfalfa, apple blossom, blackberry buckwheat, goldenrod, raspberry, and wildflower. This honey is extremely valuable. It takes a worker bee her entire lifetime to produce just 1/12 teaspoon of honey. Next time you enjoy one of the many varietals of honey, thank a honey bee!
- NEW JERSEY: New Jersey has one of the highest concentrations of black bears in the United States. Beekeepers have to put up fences to keep bears and other pests, such as skunks, out of their beehives.
- NEW MEXICO: Although much of New Mexico’s climate is desert-like, there are many plants that are pollinated by honey bees. Whether visiting New Mexico olive, golden crownbeard, firewheel, or Emory’s baccharis, honey bees play a vital role in the fertilization of plants through pollination.
- NEW YORK: Did you know the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City has beehives on its rooftop? Urban beekeeping is becoming more and more popular. Before you install hives in an urban area, be sure to check with city and township regulations on beekeeping.
- NORTH CAROLINA: North Carolina is a vibrant place for beekeeping. With roughly 13,000 beekeepers and around 100,000 hives, the states crops such as cucumbers, strawberries, watermelons, squash, and peppers will have the pollination help they need!
- NORTH DAKOTA: North Dakota is the number one honey producer
in the United States. They have important crops such as canola that produce
massive amounts of pollen. North Dakota also has a lot of native prairie land
which provides a great source of forage for bees.
- OHIO: Ohio is home to the Lithopolis Honeyfest - an annual honey festival established to help further education about the beekeeping industry, increase the consumption of honey, and to raise awareness about the importance of honey bees for crop pollination. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by - it is always a “sweet” event!
- OKLAHOMA: Bees pollinate a wide variety of crops in Oklahoma. One of the most important ones is cotton. Most of our clothes are made from cotton, so without bees, school shopping for new clothes would be a lot more boring!
- OREGON: Oregon is home to many different honey varietals, such as alfalfa, buckwheat, mint, blackberry, clover, wildflower, and meadowfoam – which tastes like toasted marshmallows! Honey can be used both in and out of the kitchen for everything from cookies to skin moisturizers to medicine.
- PENNSYLVANIA: The 2011 and 2012 American Honey Queens were
both from Pennsylvania. The American Honey Queen Program was started in 1959
with the intent to promote beekeeping and the use of honey. We have that same
intent today and have a goal to travel to all 50 states this year!
- RHODE ISLAND: In July 2012, a small community in Rhode Island was given a bee hive after Bonnie Frechette began a campaign to raise awareness Colony Collapse Disorder – a serious problem the bees are experiencing – and to raise money to help fund research about the disorder. Residents heard about Bonnie’s campaign and donated to her cause and University Heifhts Whole Foods Market made it possible for Bonnie to receive a bee hive through a promotion they hosted. The residents of Rhode Island understood the need for honey bee pollination, especially for their state fruit, the greening apple!
- SOUTH CAROLINA: Tobacco is a large crop produced in South Carolina. Tobacco has been used for smoking for centuries. Beekeepers also use smoke to help calm the bees and prevent them from getting stung while taking care of their hives.
- SOUTH DAKOTA: The annual value of honey production in South Dakota is around $30 million. A popular varietal found in the state is a blend of alfalfa-sweet clover. It has a light color and a delicate, mild flavor. South Dakota ranks second in the US for honey production.
- TENNESSEE: There are 37 local beekeeping organizations in
Tennessee. Joining a local beekeeping organization is a great way to start
learning about beekeeping and if it is right for you.
- TEXAS: Texas is one of the largest producers of cotton in the US. Cotton is pollinated by honey bees and is often used to make clothing. Not only does pollination bring us fruits and vegetables, it even brings us t-shirts and blue jeans! So next time you put on your favorite t-shirt, think about all the work the bees put into it!
- UTAH: Utah is the beehive state! Did you know that bees naturally form the hexagonal shaped cells inside of their hive? It is one of the strongest shapes in nature and the bees always build it diagonally at a 9-13 degree angle!
- VERMONT: Vermont’s state flower is the red clover. Honey bees pollinate clover, which is a major food source for cattle. When honey bees pollinate the clover crop, it results in a large harvest, making more food for the cows and more milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and ice cream for us!
- VIRGINIA: A big crop that bees pollinate in Virginia is watermelon. Did you know it takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make just 1 teaspoon of honey? That’s a lot of work!
- WASHINGTON: Honey bees entered the state of Washington in swarms and through being introduced by early settlers. They have become crucial in the pollination of apples and cherries, as Washington is the number one producer of these crops.
- WASHINGTON D.C.: In 2009, beehives were introduced at the
White House. Today, the bees are kept on top of a large stand to make sure the
President’s dog doesn’t get into them.
- WEST VIRGINIA: West Virginia produces several varities of honey including basswood, tulip poplar, autumn olive, and goldenrod. There are many different forms of honey available including liquid honey, cut comb honey, chunk honey, and creamed honey. These many forms and flavors make honey an extremely versatile product!
- Wisconsin: Cucumbers and cranberries are two main crops pollinated in Wisconsin. Cranberry bogs have to be filled with water and completely frozen in the winter for a good cranberry crop the next year.
- WYOMING: There are roughly 48,000 colonies of bees in Wyoming, with each
colony producing an average of 66 pounds of honey. Beekeepers within this state
often work throughout the nation, serving the beekeeping industry at large by
providing pollination services across the US.