DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today announced that the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has hired Andrew Joseph as the State Apiarist for Iowa. In this position Joseph will oversee apiary registration and inspection, conduct beekeeper education courses and conduct public outreach on bees and beekeeping.
“The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is excited to have Andy on staff working with beekeepers and educating Iowans about the bee industry in the state,” Northey said. “Bees are a vital to pollinating many crops in Iowa and across the nation and he will play an important role in promoting the health of the industry.”
Joseph received his Masters in Science in Entomology from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. While there, he 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 also cared for Kentucky State University and University of Kentucky’s bees including managing the annual honey sales.
The Department has three part-time apiary inspectors that examine hives across the state. They serve the beekeepers and growers of Iowa by providing identification and control of bee diseases, pests and parasites as well as facilitate the interstate movement of bees.
Funding for a State Apiarist was provided by the Iowa Legislature during the 2007 session. The position was suspended in 2001 due to budget constraints faced by the Department.
Joseph will be based at the Department’s laboratory facility in Ankeny and can be contacted by phone at 515-725-1481 or by email at Andrew.Joseph@IowaAgriculture.gov.