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Beehive distribution program starts July 20 | Winchester Star

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will accept applications for the 2021 Beehive Distribution Program from July 20 through Aug. 4. The program provides free equipment for assembling new beehives to Virginia residents. Qualified applicants are selected at random from all eligible applications received during the application period. To be eligible, recipients must be at least 18 years old and a Virginia resident.

“In Virginia, honeybees are essential pollinators for about one-third of the state’s fruit and vegetable crops,” State Apiarist Keith Tignor said in a news release. “The Beehive Distribution Program will help counteract dramatic honeybee losses in the state by assisting beekeepers in establishing new hives.”

Entities such as businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies are not eligible to receive beehive units. Multiple individuals with the same mailing and/or physical address (household) may apply to the program, but distribution of beehive units will be limited to no more than three beehive units per household in the same fiscal year, July 1 to June 30.

Recipients of beehive units must assemble the equipment and occupy it with a colony of honey bees within one year of receiving the equipment. VDACS does not provide honey bees, equipment for managing the hives such as personal safety equipment, or honey processing equipment.

To learn more about the Beehive Distribution Program or submit an application, visit the Beehive Distribution Program website: https://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/plant-industry-services-beehive-distribution-program.shtml.

For more information, contact the VDACS Office of Plant Industry Services at 804.786.3515 or [email protected].

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