Last spring, lawmakers created the Beehive Grant Program, which offers keepers compensation for their hives. The program was originally thought up by a group of students in the University of Virginia's College Leaders Program.
Del. Ed Scott of Culpeper and Sen. Creigh Deeds backed the program after seeing the students' presentation. But now, Gov. Bob McDonnell is suggesting state agencies find ways to cut down on their budgets.
Scott says the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services proposed cutting the program's budget of $250,000 in half, but the agricultural benefit of the bees goes beyond just having fresh, local honey at the farmers market.
"Additionally when we have any increased bees and increased beekeeping there's an agriculture benefit that translates into apple orchards, peach orchards, grapes, any number of agricultural crops - we have the potential for increasing their yields," said Scott.
The cut is only a suggestion. Scott says he remains optimistic the program will not be cut in half. He says this is a program that deserves to be given at least another year to see how well it works. Scott says even if the governor does choose to cut the budget he thinks the general assembly will take another look at it.
Gov. McDonnell announced that his FY 2015/2016 budget will include $183.1 million over the biennium in new support of VA's colleges and universities.Full Story