Registration of Illinois apiaries skyrockets in 2020
The Illinois Director of Agriculture says one silver lining in 2020 was the explosion of interest in beekeeping across the state.
Jerry Costello tells Brownfield, “We actually registered 656 new apiaries in the state which is a 27% increase from 2019.”
Costello says COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders pushed residents to pursue more socially distant hobbies like hunting, fishing, and beekeeping. He says the pandemic also highlighted the importance of local foods and producers.
“And I do think people realize how important pollination is to that whole process, so hopefully people are looking to give back to nature and production.”
Costello says the department is in a multi-year program where they are converting 25-30 acres on the state fairgrounds in both DuQuoin and Springfield into pollinator habitat and he looks forward to the completion of that project.