There’s a buzz these days about a honey of a hobby – beekeeping. The Illinois Department of Agriculture reports a 38 percent increase in the number of registered beekeepers in the state, to more than 2,500. The field is called apiary, and the program manager at the Ag Department, Steve Chard, says it's attracting young people.
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“There’s quite a few new beekeeping clubs or associations being formed around the state,” Chard says. “Some of these associations also hold beekeeping classes for beginning beekeepers, and, typically nowadays, those classes are full.”
Chard says not only do people like honey and studying the bees’ social infrastructure and work ethic, but the increase is easing an outbreak of “colony collapse disorder,” sort of a mass midlife crisis in which worker bees abandon the queen and babies.