New State Apiarist for Iowa

It is my pleasure to introduce the new State Apiarist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Andrew Joseph.

Andy started in late February, and has been restarting apiary programs that were curtailed when the State Apiarist position was suspend in 2001 because of departmental budget constraints. Maury Wills, Bureau Chief for the Agricultural Diversification and Market Development Bureau, has been maintaining basic apiarist's duties in addition to his other full-time responsibilities for the past seven years.

The State Apiarist's responsibilities will be divided as follows:

  • One third regulatory work such as apiary registration and inspection, coordination of three part-time inspectors, diagnostic testing for disease and mite treatment resistances, etc.
  • One third beekeeper outreach and a contact point for beekeepers across the state involved in courses, meetings, board participation, composing an Iowa Apiary Inspector Manual, factsheets, newsletter articles and other publications
  • One third public (non-beekeeper) outreach on bees, beekeeping, and pollination / agricultural ecology.

It has been a pleasure working with Andy over the last month as his enthusiasm concerning apiary opportunities in Iowa is contagious. Andy remarked that he feels very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to serve the beekeepers and beekeeping industry in this state. “I never could have guessed when first starting out with an interest in bees and a couple hives of bees that my life, career, and family would become so entwined with these insects and the people who keep them.”

Andy and his wife, Catherine, have moved to Des Moines from Kentucky, where she managed a bookstore and Andy earned an MS degree in Entomology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. Andy was an active member of beekeeping organizations on local, state, and multistate levels. Andy’s research at UK focused on bees as pollinators in monoculture, looking at the role of nectar foraging in relation to overall foraging activity and, ultimately, plant pollination. In addition to the research, Andy cared for Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky’s bees including managing the annual honey sales.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Andy.

Andrew Joseph, State Apiarist
Entomology & Plant Science Bureau
Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
Iowa Laboratory Facility
2230 South Ankeny Boulevard Ankeny, IA 50023
(515) 725-1481

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