Decorah Mayor Lorraine Borowski has proclaimed today, Thursday, Feb. 13, Iowa Honey Bee Day.
The proclamation states:
“Honey bees and native insects are important as pollinators for a third of the food we eat, and honey bees are vital in production of over 90 crops grown across the nation, many of which are in Iowa. Honey bees contribute to a healthy Iowa environment by assuring availability of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and flowers for wildlife and all Iowans.
“Iowa's 45,000 or more honey bee hives produce about 4 million pounds of honey valued at over $8 million and honey bees provide an estimated $92 million economic value to Iowa crops from their pollination.
“Iowa has over 4,500 beekeepers representing hobbyists, sideliners as part time businesses and full-time commercial beekeepers. Hobby beekeepers have as few as one hive to commercial operations with thousands of hives.
“Traditionally beekeeping occurred in rural areas of Iowa. Now beekeeping increasingly occurs in urban areas with the rising interest of hobby beekeepers for keeping beehives in Iowa cities and towns.
“The state of Iowa has an active apiary inspection program to protect honey bees and beekeepers from introduction and spread of apiary diseases and pests.
“Honey bees face serious threats from invasive pests, decreasing bee friendly forage, variable climate and increasing pesticide and herbicide pressure.
“State and county roadsides comprise a total of almost 115,000 miles. Providing native plantings and reducing the mowing and spraying of herbicides on the roadsides are helping bee survival.
“The city of Decorah has enacted legislation that makes it easier to engage in beekeeping activities in the city.
“I, Lorraine Borowski, mayor of the city of Decorah, do hereby proclaim and support February 13, 2020 as Iowa Honey Bee Day and encourage all citizens, residents and visitors to join in observing this day and focusing on the importance of honey bees to our state economy, to enjoy the honey and other products of honey bees, to recognize the honey bees’ role in maintaining our Iowa environment, and to assist in reducing the threats to honey bee survival in our state.”