Thursday, June 06, 2002

Honeybee Named State Insect of West Virginia
According to an article in the Summer 2002 issue of Goldenseal, a quarterly publication of the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the Honeybee (Apis mellifera) has been named the Official State Insect of West Virginia: "The resolution [of the State legislature], which became effective March 7, noted the honeybees' [sic] contributions by pollinating plants and trees in West Virginia's forest-rich hills. It also recognized the expansion of the State's [sic] honey industry. In 2001, West Virginia produced approximately 1.2 million pounds of honey, with more than 1,300 beekepers and 20 beekeeping organizations Statewide." I take the above report to be true, although I wasn't able to find this resolution listed on the West Virginia Legislature's Web site.

By this action, West Virginia becomes the 40th State with an Official State Insect (also see additional information here), and the 17th State to recognize the Honeybee as its Official State Insect. The popularity of the Honeybee is ironic considering that it is not native to the United States. It is a tribute, no doubt, to the economic importance of the Honeybee as a pollinator of agricultural crops. West Virginia also has an Official State Butterfly, the Monarch.


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