Cool temps hamper Dakota bees' honey production

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Associated Press

Posted on August 21, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Wednesday, Aug 21 at 11:06 AM

BRUCE, S.D. (AP) — A month-long string of cooler temperatures in the Dakotas this summer has honey producers anticipating a drop in the states' honey crops.

North Dakota and South Dakota are the nation's top two honey producing states, with North Dakota churning out 34 million pounds in 2012 and South Dakota producing 17 million pounds.

Experts say those numbers likely will be down for 2013.

South Dakota state apiarist Bob Reiners says the bulk of the state's honey crop likely was made by bees in the early part of the summer before temperatures cooled.

Bonnie Woodworth of the North Dakota Beekeepers Association says conditions have been good in the western and northern parts of the state. But eastern North Dakota has suffered from a lack of forage and warmth.

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