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Free honeybee equipment available

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) will accept applications for the 2021 Beehive Distribution Program from July 20 through August 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.

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

Individuals who are residents of the commonwealth of Virginia, and 18 years of age or older at the time an application is submitted, are eligible to receive beehive units. Entities such as businesses, non-profit 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, however; 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 beginning July 20, please visit the Beehive Distribution Program website.

For more information, contact the VDACS Office of Plant Industry Services at (804) 786.3515 or vabees@vdacs.virginia.gov.