The drought that’s been plaguing areas of Kentucky and Indiana for much of the summer could end up having an effect on honeybee colonies, too. Sean Burgess is Kentucky’s state apiarist. He says this time of year is critical for bee colonies, because it’s when they harvest nectar to make the honey that nourishes them through the winter. Burgess says drought conditions have led to a shortage of flowering plants, but late summer blooms of goldenrod and aster could provide extra stores for the winter. He says many beekeepers have been supplementing the nectar by manually feeding their bees.
While the US drought has been rough on our region’s corn and soybean crops, grape growers in the Four Rivers say their harvest will make up in quality what it lacks in quantity. Winemakers throughout the area report their vineyards have proven resilient to the recent heat and dryness.
Six county-wide burn bans remain in western Kentucky after Marshall and McCracken county officials lifted their bans today. The river counties of Ballard, Hickman, Fulton and Carlisle still have burn ban notices in effect. Christian and Graves counties also have burn bans.
The ongoing drought has left the American Queen steamboat docked in Memphis, unable to paddle on down the Mississippi River because of low water. The steamboat stopped in Paducah this week on its journey down river.
Missouri’s emergency cost-share program has approved over 3,700 farmer applications for urgent relief during this summer’s drought. Governor Jay Nixon established the program to provide water after declaring Missouri in a State of Emergency. The aid totals close to 19 million dollars and covers 90 percent of emergency water projects on farms. Individual farmers will have to pay the remaining 10 percent for their project.