Reporting for this story by KRCU’s Jacob McCleland.
The ongoing drought obviously hurts most crops, but not honey. The dry weather actually helps beekeepers.
Ray Nabors is pretty positive about this year’s honey crop. He’s a retired apiculture specialist for the Delta Research Center in Portageville, and he’s kept bees for over 35 years.
In Missouri’s Bootheel, bees gather nectar from cotton and soybeans.
“The nectar that’s coming out of that cotton and soybeans because of this really hot, dry weather is think. It’s not thin," Nabors says. "So the bees are not having to dry it down as much, so they can gather more of it even though it’s a thicker consistency.”
That thick nectar should lead to a strong honey harvest. Naturally, the main impediment during drought is scarce water. There could be less honey if bees spend too much time looking for water to cool down the hive.