State Agriculture Department Develops Honeybee Protection Plan | Community Idea Stations

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State Agriculture Department Develops Honeybee Protection Plan

The loss of honey bees is a national concern. For more than a year, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has been working to develop what they call The Voluntary Plan to Mitigate the Risk of Pesticides to Managed Pollinators.

Honeybees are important to agriculture in Virginia. The agency’s apiarist is Keith Tignor.

"We look to them to pollinate about 80 crops across Virginia. Not just our apples and other fruits, there’s lots of vegetable that they pollinate for us," said Tignor.

The plan, he said, includes recommended best practices for the use of commercial pesticides to minimize honeybee loses.

"We’re looking into establishing an on line communication tool for applicators and farmers and the beekeepers so that the beekeepers can provide information to the pesticide users as to where their beehives are located."

The farmers can let them know what, when, and where they’ll be spraying. The hope is that the EPA will help cover the $24,000 initial setup costs.