Delaware’s Department of Agriculture has hired a new employee to oversee bees and beekeeping.
As chief bee inspector, State Apiarist Megan McConnell will inspect and monitor the health of colonies. She will also help out with pest management.
McConnell will start in June - just months after Delaware rolled out its statewide pollinator protection plan. Plant Industries Administrator Faith Kuehn said McConnell will help further the plan’s goals.
“What we’re trying to do is make the public more aware about what are the issues causing pollinator decline and what can people do as individuals, as gardeners, as organizations to try to support healthy pollinator populations,” Kuehn said.
McConnell will also help keep track of registration for Delawareans that have bee colonies, she’ll familiarize fruit and vegetable growers with pollination requirements and serve as a technical adviser to the Delaware Beekeepers Association.
McConnell graduated from University of Maryland in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Science & Technology and she’s finishing her masters in Entomology.
Delaware’s former state apiarist, Bob Mitchell, retired last fall after 31 years to focus on his own beekeeping.
McConnell was unavailable for comment as she does not join the department until June.