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Thanks Brutz, pretty much suspected that was the case. I was not aware there was no full time apiarist. I am appalled that no one trusts the government.
The problem is not the Dept. of Agriculture. The problem is that our beekeepers (especially our commercial beekeepers) are not forthcoming about the data. The USDA send out quarterly surveys about colony numbers and losses, honey productions and sales, as well as queen, nuc, and package production and purchases; but no one in GA responds to the survey. Our state loses millions of dollars of federal funding every year because our beekeepers "don't trust the gov't" or "don't want the gov't knowing too much about their operations". The GA Dept of Ag is woefully understaffed. Did you know there is no such thing as a full time apiary inspector or honey house inspector in this state? The guy(s) inspecting the bees are the same ones inspecting onions and watermelons. The ones inspecting the honey houses are the same ones inspecting the convenience stores and grocery stores. They all multi-task, and bee-related work is just a small fraction of what they do on a monthly basis. If you want better numbers, go to the USDA website and get on the list for the quarterly surveys regarding honeybees.
I certainly do not want to stack more work on the pile of things to do. That being said would it be possible to have some input from the State Bee Inspector on this site and input from the Agricultural Commissioner. I have links to the agricultural website, but as indicated in this thread not much data. Transitioning from Beekeeper to Sideliner there seems to be a lot to know about commercial aspects that may have a place on GBA. With our zoom capability it would be nice to get a face to face from these offices. Thanks for all you do.
There are no verifiable numbers, but the best estimate we have is we believe there are around 3,500 beekeepers state-wide. According to GA Dept. of Ag numbers, we have around 75-80 licensed honey producers, and around 65-70 commercial apiaries in the state.
I don't think that data has ever been compiled other than to acknowledge that Georgia is the largest package and queen producer East of the Rockies. With the most in the nation a toss up between us and California.
I'd love to see those numbers myself.
I am frequently asked, "how many beekeepers are there in the state of Georgia". Does GBA have this information and is it available by number of hives such as Backyard, Sideline, or Commercial?
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