Nebraska's State Insect

First suggested by Auburn schoolchildren, the honeybee (Apis mellifica) was recognized as the Nebraska state insect in 1974. The resolution making the honey the state insect read:

WHEREAS, one of the great industries in Nebraska is the production of honey; and whereas, this industry came to Nebraska in the covered wagon era and has grown and thrived amidst our rich and fertile soil; and whereas, the honeybee itself has always been recognized as a species to be protected in and by this state and its contribution to this state is without measure. Be it resolved by the members of the Eighty-third Legislature, Second Session:

1. That this Legislature recognize the honeybee as a prime asset of the state.

2. That this Legislature hereby recognize the honeybee as the Nebraska State Insect.

In 1975, the honeybee was adopted by the legislature as the official state insect. A foreign import to the Western Hemisphere, the honeybee was introduced into New England in the early 17th century. There are more than 150,000 colonies of honeybees in Nebraska, representing a $6 million industry in honey and more than a $1 million-dollar industry in beeswax. the honeybee is the only protected and domesticated insect used for pollination today and is vitally important in food production.