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.

“If we do get rain, and there are areas in Kentucky that have gotten sufficient rainfall, I’m starting to see goldenrod bloom, and shortly hereafter we hope to get some asters going,” he said. “If they have good sources of both of those plants, the bees should hopefully come through and have lots of stores for winter.”

With drought conditions and a shortage of flowering plants, Burgess says many beekeepers have been supplementing the nectar by manually feeding their bees.