Date of this Version
This NebGuide provides information on beginning beekeeping in Nebraska.
Beekeeping in Nebraska
There are approximately 700 beekeepers in Nebraska operating about 115,000 colonies of bees. Annual honey production in the state ranges from 5 to 11 million pounds depending on weather conditions and available flora. The honey from each area is a unique blend of nectars from the available flora. In a good area under favorable conditions, a properly managed colony can produce 100 pounds or more of honey. The six-year average (1986-1991) for honey production per colony in Nebraska is 75 pounds.
Of far greater importance is the role honey bees play as pollinators of fruit, vegetable, and seed crops. In addition to farm and garden crops, honey bees pollinate many plants important to wildlife and soil conservation, and many of the wildflowers that beautify our landscape. Some of the Nebraska crops requiring bee pollination are: alfalfa seed, clover seed, vetch seed, sunflowers, canola, watermelons, cantaloupes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, apples, cherries, pears, and raspberries. Beekeepers provide a valuable resource since these crops cannot be produced without bee pollination.