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  1. #1
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    Jan 2013
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    Stuart, VA
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    Default VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    I wasn't fast enough to be included in the 2013 Virginia Department of Agriculture beehive grant aimed at increasing polination for farmers. Appears it is geared toward large beekeepers and not the little guys who rent out hives to orchards and farmers. Oh well... I'm getting more hives anyway. I'll bet many who bought hives expecting the grant money are fired up. Smart government move to say buy first and then hope the money is there. They got more hives going than they paid for. The grant approval should have been given before purchase to be honest with all beekeepers, not just the ones that would likely buy new hives regardless. It is a good plan to increase polination and food production, and all states should have one, but not based on deception or ambiguity. Am I wrong in my opinion?

  2. #2
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    According to reports, no one got any grant money, as the funding was cut before the actual implementation date. More here:

    http://www.northernvatimes.com/culpe...-grant-program
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  3. #3
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    brownwood, TX, USA
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    780

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    "Bee keeping isn't the right path for farmers who want to make money," said Headley. Headley is a life long beekeeper according to the above referenced article. Gee, he must be a ray of sunshine for all of you folks that want to make your livelihood from bees.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    Lynchburg, Virginia
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Ed, where you told this directly? I mean, did you submit an application and receive some kind of notice?

    Graham, the article you linked to is slightly out of date. Sometime in early December, in the week following the release of the application guidelines, it was announced the program had been cut and no applications would be accepted. About ten days later in turn it was announced that applications would, in fact, be accepted, but it was anyone's guess as to IF and WHEN grant money would be paid out.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Please note the thread title is regarding VIRGINIA beehive grants, and my comments in this post are about a TENNESSEE beehive grant program.

    If you are a Tennesee resident, and interested in becoming a new beekeeper, there is a hive grant program involving the state, the Tennessee Beekeeping Association, and local beekeeping clubs.

    The grant involves equipment, not money, and does not include the bees themselves. Each local club gets three hive grants available (for three new beekeepers). You can read the details at this link:
    http://blountbees.wordpress.com/2012...ew-beekeepers/

    The page above is written for the 2012 program, but the 2013 program is essentially the same, but the link above is the best I can find right now.

    My local club, the Davy Crockett Beekeepers Association is participating again this year, as are other surrounding clubs in East TN.

    If you think you may qualify, contact your local Tennessee beekeepers association to confirm that they are participating in this program. If you want to find local clubs in TN, see this link:
    http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/bee-clubs/
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  6. #6
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    780

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    To follow up on what Rader said about the TN grant....my club, the "Washington County Beekeepers Association" voted last night to participate this in the grant program. Also, a local distributor is donating another full hive outfit. So, we are going to have 4 sets to give away at our upcoming beginner course. We have several members who are also members of Rader's club. The room was packed with probably about a dozen or so new people at the meeting who have never had bees. Looks like we're on track to set a new record for attendance at the bee course and will have no problems finding takers for the free hive sets. The difficulty will be finding mentors for those new people. -js

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
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    196

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Please note the thread title is regarding VIRGINIA beehive grants, and my comments in this post are about a TENNESSEE beehive grant program.

    If you are a Tennesee resident, and interested in becoming a new beekeeper, there is a hive grant program involving the state, the Tennessee Beekeeping Association, and local beekeeping clubs.

    The grant involves equipment, not money, and does not include the bees themselves. Each local club gets three hive grants available (for three new beekeepers). You can read the details at this link:
    http://blountbees.wordpress.com/2012...ew-beekeepers/

    The page above is written for the 2012 program, but the 2013 program is essentially the same, but the link above is the best I can find right now.

    My local club, the Davy Crockett Beekeepers Association is participating again this year, as are other surrounding clubs in East TN.

    If you think you may qualify, contact your local Tennessee beekeepers association to confirm that they are participating in this program. If you want to find local clubs in TN, see this link:
    http://www.tnbeekeepers.org/bee-clubs/
    The Tennessee plan sounds better.

    As for VA, I'm not sure how the funds are used up if the Commonwealth has to wait on the General Assembly. Ed is probably right that the big fish in the pond will get theirs before the small timers, but if I were interested, I'd apply anyway...you never know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Stuart, VA
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    10

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Quote Originally Posted by AChabot View Post
    Ed, where you told this directly? I mean, did you submit an application and receive some kind of notice? .
    Graham, the article you linked to is out of date, as is most all articles about the grant.

    My information was from an email sent to me by the Departmnt of Agriculture (copy/past below). As I was preparing to submit application I joined their email notification list. My son in VA Beach was also interested and someone from from the Tidewater Beekeepers Association told him he was a successful applicant for the grant and the grant as used up completely within 2 weeks after it started.

    I have never been one to suspect corruption or political favors around every corner (although not nieve enough to know it exist) but this whole grant thing seems very suspicious to me. I think if a grant with the core purpose of increasing food productin through increases polination should have certain regulations. First, it should be grated before purchase (and paid after). There should be guidelines directed to beekeepers who rent or place hives in orchards and farmlands like pumpkin, blueberries, or other harvested food products. There should be evidence the hives are are strong after the first year and the beekeeper has the same amount of hives they had before the grant was paid (require inspections and ID numbered hives). The grant money should be paid back and applied to the fund if requirements are not made. That is off the top of my head so I'm sure more thought should go into it.

    Tell me... What if I had a hundred hives and made my profits on honey. Assume I have 100 hives, because it is all I had time for, and I bought 10 new hives through the grant. I may simply move my bees from old hives into the new ones. Then I sold 10 of my old hives, or retired them due to their poor condition. Not only did the grant only replace 10 of my old hives I potentially made well over $1,000 selling the old ones. There are no extra bees in circulation or extra polination taking place.

    The proposed inspection related to the grant is to inspect the new 10 new hives a year later for bees. DUH! I doubt the inspection would even take place, but if it did, how would they know which hives were purchased and if the bees initiated from the addition of those hives. So... I can't help but to suspect the grant was geared with other than honest results, even if there seems to be good intent involved.

    - - - - - - -

    RE: Beehive Grant February 5, 2013 3:45 PM
    From: "Keith Tignor (VDACS)" <Keith.Tignor@vdacs.virginia.gov>
    To: "Virginia Bees (VDACS)" <VABees@vdacs.virginia.gov>

    Please be advised that the amount of grant requests received by this agency has exceeded the $125,000 appropriated for this program for Fiscal Year 2013 (July 2012 to June 2013). In addition, during the current legislative session the General Assembly is considering proposed amendments to the state budget that include the deferral of funding for the beehive grant program. A final determination on applications cannot be made until the state budget is finalized sometime in April 2013. We will continue to accept applications in accordance with the guidelines and requirements for qualification. Grants shall be issued in the order that each completed eligible application is received as funding is available. In the event that the amount of eligible grants requested in a fiscal year exceeds the funds available, such grants shall be paid in the next fiscal year in which funds are available.

    The link to the online application will take users to a log-in page for the Beehive Grants Program Online Registration. First time users will need to create a VDACS Online Account using the link on the Online Registration webpage. A VDACS Online Account may be created prior to the January 1, 2013, start date for the grant. However, purchases prior to this date are not eligible for the grant.

    Along with the application, applicants must submit a ‘Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification’ form (IRS Form W-9) and any itemized receipts from the purchase of qualified items. The digital or image files for these documents sent to VDACS through the online application. These files may be attached to the application through appropriate links on the online application webpage.

    Applicants may also send required documentation to the mailing address or FAX number below. Applications will not be processed until a completed application and required documentation are received. Please be advised that processing of applications received by mail or fax may be delayed.

    = = = = =
    There is more but not related to my comment.

    In a nutshell, it would seem to me that beekeepers need to purchase hives in hopes they get the grant they are highly unlikely to get. Hmmmm... There may be an increase in beehives in the State as a result of the grant but not by the proceeds of the grant. Am I right?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ashburn, VA, USA
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    161

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Thanks for posting the details of your email from VDACS. It saved me some paperwork.

  10. #10
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    It would be interesting to submit an FOA request after everything is said and done.

  11. #11
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    Jan 2012
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    Charles City, VA
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    In your e-mail and from talking to Keith myself, no one is getting any money until the General Assembly votes in April. The grant is for a total of $125,000 and maxed out with each person at $2,400 for new hives not to exceed $200 per hive. When you do the math, thats enough money for 52 people to fully take advantage of the grant. They had enough applications on 2 Jan, 2013 to reach that goal.

    The purpose of the grant was just to increase the number of honeybee hives in VA with no targeted demographic. It was simple, the first people to submit the application get the refund. I'm not saying its perfect and does need some review.

    My opinion if they are trying to get new beekeepers, what new beekeeper starts with 12 hives? They should limit the funds to 2-3 hives for equipment.

    Its difficult to make inspection criteria on the hives b/c what if your hive dies, they abscond, ect, then would you make them pay the money back? When the grant was first considered there was an inspection criteria, but the state said there do not have the man power to preform all the inspections.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2010
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    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
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    780

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    So they don't necessarily have to be new beekeepers? The TN program requires that the recipient have never kept bees previously. -js

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Stuart, VA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    Widdy... You say, "you are not saying it's perfect and it does need some review?" I'm saying that perfect isn't even in the equasion. It merely opens it up for favoritism. which is suspicious of corruption. It isn't acceptical or practical to ensure there will be more bees. Why not model it after a State where it is already functioning, possibly even improving it? I would be less suspicious if those on the top of the list were hobbiest with less than 6 hives. It would be interesting to know who was approved for the grant and how many hives they bought.

    The core of the purpose in the grant is "increased bee population," not because the public loves them, but to increase polination and food production. We know honeybees are selective polinators and no other bee can polinate even close to them. The decline in honeybees is a serious concern for food production.

    As you mention, the grant should be put together for beginners and limited to 2 or 3 hives. Or... as in my case, for beekeepers without bees to start up again. I sold my dozen hives, 6 were populated with strong colonies, and all equipment for a fraction of it's value. I worked them for over 6 years (3 up to 7 active hives). I sold out because of back problems thinking I would never be able to keep bees again. However, 3 years later, and successful surgery, I am back to beekeeping. I am starting up hoping the grant will help with the nearly $3,000 cost. It doesn't seem fair for commercial honey producers with 50 or 200 hives to get the grant and potentially abuse it as I mentioned before. The grant should be for only 2 or 3 hives not $2,500 per person (that is about 11 or 12 hives). That may well be the intent of who wrote the qualifications or it would have been modeled differently.

    I'm well aware of the inspection process not being possible and implied that in my post.

    The requirements should be revised before the grant is approved but I doubt it. It is a can of worms as is and the damage has already been done.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Haymarket, Virginia
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    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    This is why there needs to be an FOI request made when this is all said and done. Perhaps we're wrong and a number of grants will go to those with fewer hives, though I'm skeptical. If/When the information is made public VA beekeepers can collectively decide whether it's worth lobbying for change.

    It also depends on what the Commonwealth's motives were in creating the grant in the first place. I read the language as "increasing the number of beehives in Virginia", not "increasing the number of beekeepers in Virginia". If the state wanted more beehives, then mission successful. It stands to reason that giving commercial operations preference, if that is what happens, would have the potential of creating resentment between some hobbyists and the state.

    No matter what happens I think the program was poorly implemented and not well thought out.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Charles City, VA
    Posts
    77

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    It all has to deal with when your application was submitted. Not how big or small your operation is. If you want to take advantage of the 2013 funds, drive to Dadant and buy all the gear on the first day and submit your application on your drive home.

    The grant was only funded for 2 years

    David

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Haymarket, Virginia
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    196

    Default Re: VA 2013 Beehive Grant Used Up

    True enough, David. I made my purchases on Jan 2, but elected not to participate, therefore, I have nothing to lose.

    But I can see why Ed or others are displeased. Heck, without knowing the details of how this was legislated I'm not convinced the state handled it well. It's worth the FOI request to alleviate concerns or identify problems in case the state continues to fund such grants in the future.
    Last edited by urbanoutlaw; 02-08-2013 at 08:36 AM. Reason: fixed spelling fail

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