State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball and state Apiculturist Paul Cappy recently encouraged new beekeepers to join one of 20 different beekeeping clubs across New York state. These clubs provide new beekeepers with ways to increase production and enable many to join the ranks as full-time beekeepers. Backyard beekeeping has exploded in recent years in New York state, with at least 1,600 new beekeepers joining the ranks of local beekeeping clubs over the last five years. In addition, most beekeeping clubs have doubled in size in New York over that same time period.