The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is giving out free beehives to prospective backyard beekeepers, so get ready to get your honey on!
In an effort to attract and retain more bees in the state, the VDACS has established a free beehive program for Virginia residents. Honey bees are important pollinators for all sorts of crops and there is a worldwide shortage of bees to do the work. You can help out by adding bee-friendly plants to your garden and applying for a free beehive if you have the space.
The eligibility requirements are pretty basic – you just have to be at least 18 years old and a resident of Virginia. Presumably, you have enough room on your own property to provide suitable bee-attracting plants to keep your new colony happy. Applications will be available on July 1, 2019, so read up on what it takes to become a beekeper now!
The benefits of keeping a bee colony are numerous. Most importantly, you'll be helping the environment, enhancing your own garden, and can harvest your own honey. Not to mention, you get to wear a fabulous beekeeper's outfit, complete with a veiled hat.
The application will be available online at the VDACS website, and free beehives will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Recipients of the free beehives must establish a honey bee colony in Virginia within the first year of setup. The VDACS reserves the right to inspect your new bee colony, and you will be registered as a beekeeper in the state of Virginia. How cool is that?
For more information, visit the VDACS website about the free beehive program.
**All of the photos in this article are courtesy of Unsplash.
Will you be applying for a free beehive? What kind of bee-friendly plants are you planning on to keep your new colony happy? Let us know in the comments!