LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Recent heat waves have been impacting pretty much everything, from livestock to agriculture.
Even the city of Lexington recently implemented a heat plan because of the weather’s impact on people.
But the heat has found yet another victim.
The Kentucky State Fair kicks off in August and it’s an opportunity for farmers across the state to show off their best products.
But this year, shoppers might face some challenges getting their favorite local honey.
Tommy Steele of Cherrey Steele Farm has been beekeeping since he was a young boy. He got into the industry after an uncle on his family’s farm introduced him to the trade. Steele said the complexity of the insect fascinated him.
Steele explained, “You get a new beekeeper you have that first hive. They will take a chair up there and sit and watch those things. Take you a cocktail up there at night and it is fascinating.”
It’s an attraction dozens of other beekeepers like Ruth Jeffers have also. Jeffers and Steele raise bees to produce honey, either to give to family and friends or to sell at local markets and popular events.
Jeffers said, “A lot of beekeepers sell to people they know. but another way people sell locally is at the Kentucky State Fair.”
This year, locally harvested honey might be in limited supply. Steele added, “You never know what the weather is going to be. This year we have had a dry June, which caused a lot of problems. That is our biggest nectar flow is June.”
The high temperatures the bluegrass has seen so far this summer is making it hard for worker bees to go to work.
Jeffers explained, “It effects the bees in that the nectar that is available in the plants can dry up sooner. so, there is less nectar to bring into the hive for the bees to turn into honey.”
Less honey for the bees, means less honey for the beekeeper and ultimately you.
Even though there has been a decrease in honey production, beekeepers tell FOX56 News that doesn’t mean a price increase for your local honey.