New Legislation Provides Grants to Beekeepers

On March 30, 2012, Governor McDonnell signed into law legislation from the 2012 session of the Virginia General Assembly that created the Beehive Grant Fund. Grants from the fund, which will be administered by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), will be available after January 1, 2013.

The fund will provide up to $125,000 in grants for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 and another $125,000 for FY 2013-2014. Beekeepers can get $200 per hive with a maximum of $2,400 per individual in grants. The grant program is official on July 1, 2012, however a beekeeper cannot apply for the grants until January 1, 2013. One of the reasons for this is a beehive would not have enough time to get established and last through the winter if it was started in July.

Registration procedures and the general requirements to qualify for the grant will be published later in the year and will be distributed to interested stakeholders, including the various local beekeeper associations. Interested beekeepers may add their name to the notification list now by e-mailing VABees@vdacs.virginia.gov to be included in all future mailings.

Beekeepers will find information on VDACS’ apiary inspections, the Virginia Pollinator program and more at vdacs.virginia.gov/plant&pest/apiary.shtml. For additional information, contact Keith Tignor at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, 804.786.3515 or keith.tignor@vdacs.virginia.gov.

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