Illinois' Agriculture Director says there's been a 38 percent increase in the number of registered Illinois beekeepers.
Bob Flider says despite significant budget challenges the department filled a vacant position and now employs eight apiary inspectors.
According to a news release, due to pests and diseases, the number of wild honeybees has significantly decreased, greatly increasing the need for domestic apiaries. Many specialty crop growers now hire beekeepers to pollinate their crops.
The state's beekeepers currently manage more than 24,000 colonies.
Honeybee Facts: (Illinois Dept. of Ag)