Usually, Mainer's aren't too fond of 'out-of-staters' coming here and making Maine their home.  But, these 'out-of-staters' we can get bee-hind.

Spring Hill Nursery, a mail order plant nursery, took a look at information from the U.S.Department of Agriculture and shared their findings recently of one of the most important beings on the planet: bees.

In data accumulated and reported by the USDA, Maine came in #1 in the nation for bee population growth. This growth was seen from January 2018 to March 2019.  Maine saw a 72% growth in our bee population.  In fact, Maine was the only state that ranked in the top 10 on the whole East Coast of the United States.

Why are bees so important?  According to the United States GS, bees pollinate plants and allow for more growing of plants, including the plants that we need for food and crops like cotton and soybeans.

Lucky for Maine, bees are migrating to the state and, apparently, really enjoy bee-ing here.

Most growth seen for bee populations were in the middle of the country including a large amount of northern midwest states (North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Nebraska) and in the mid-South states of Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.

Bee populations saw the most decrease in Iowa with a considerable -256% decrease, along with Colorado (-73%), New Mexico (-56%), Tennessee (-42%) and Alabama (-36%).

Here's the top 10 states for bee population growth between January 2018 and March 2019:

1. Maine (72% increase)

2. Oklahoma (69% increase)

3. Nebraska (60% increase)

4. Michigan (50% increase)

5. Montana (48% increase)

6. Wyoming (42% increase)

7. Washington (41% increase)

8. Texas (37% increase)

9. North Dakota (35% increase)

10. Mississippi (34% increase)

Despite our incredible growth in our bee colonies, the State of Maine does not rank in the top states in the nation with the most bee colonies.  That list includes California at #1 with 1.1 million bee colonies.  Other states with the most bee colonies also include: Florida (259,400 colonies), Texas (242,400 colonies), North Dakota (226,400 colonies) and Georgia (138,400 colonies).

Maine has a ways to go to compete with other states when it comes to the amount of bee colonies we have, but, the State of Maine is making great headway in attracting one of nature's most beneficial friends for humankind.  We welcome you, bee friends.