Interest in beekeeping has grown exponentially since the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association signed their first 38 charter members in 1917. Today, the NCSBA has grown to 4,000 members and has become one of the largest organizations working to protect and promote the honeybee. This isn’t surprising considering the fact that North Carolina bees produce $15 million worth of honey each year.
Bees do more than just provide North Carolinians with honey. Honeybee pollination is essential to the continued success of North Carolina’s $84 billion agricultural economy. According to the NCSBA, more than a third of the food we eat is dependent upon the honeybee for pollination.
As a result of increased interest in beekeeping and the need to promote honeybee pollination in North Carolina, the legislature has created a new initiative called the N.C. Beehive Grant Fund. It is being coordinated by the N.C. AgriculturalDevelopment and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. The new grant is available to any eligible beekeeper seeking funding assistance for the purchase and construction of beehives. Applicants may receive $200 per hive and up to $2,400 in total funding. Interested, certified beekeepers can access the grant application and guidelines at www.ncadfp.org/CycleXI.htm. Call 919-707-3072 with any questions. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15.